"Kelley Bradshaw (Word)"
Massachusetts Department of Public Health MA Dear Massachusetts Department of Public Health: I commend Governor Patrick and the Department of Public Health for proposing menu labeling in Massachusetts. I agree that this is an important step in addressing obesity, and look forward to using easily accessible nutrition information to make more informed decisions when eating out. However, I have concerns about two provisions in your proposed policy that, if implemented, would decrease its scope and effectiveness significantly. These loopholes include: -Listing nutrition information per serving rather than per menu item. Who wants to do math when eating out? For example, a Chicken Quesadilla at Ruby Tuesday (4 servings) might be listed as 140 calories per serving. What if three people are splitting it? What if one person is ordering it as their meal? This loophole would leave it to restaurants to determine the number of servings per menu item and allow for misleading nutrition information that is hard to calculate and use. -Excluding drive-thrus. Two-thirds of fast-food business comes through the drive-thru. This loophole would prevent the majority of fast-food customers from having easy access to nutrition information when ordering. I appreciate the Governor's and the Department of Public Health's efforts to address obesity and chronic disease by giving consumers the information they need to make informed decisions when eating out. I urge you to strengthen this policy by removing these loopholes, so we can have easy-to-find, easy-to-understand information when eating out. Please let me know your decisions regarding these issues. Sincerely, Kelley Bradshaw