TORONTO — Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has announced that the province will put forward legislation this winter that will require large chain restaurants to post calorie and other nutritional information on their menus. The government will also seek advice on how to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to kids.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has expressed its disappointment with the provincial government, which will not to take part in the B.C. government-founded Informed Dining program — an initiative whereby participating operators offer customers access to nutritional information, rather than placing it on the menu.
“Ontario is choosing to go it alone, out-of-step with other provinces,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO, CRFA. “B.C. and Manitoba have adopted the Informed Dining program and other provinces are working on implementation. Ontario is the only province that refused to consider adoption of a successful program that provides a wider range of information in a user-friendly format.”
The Toronto-based association cited numerous research studies that examined calorie posting and its effects on consumer ordering habits and obesity. One such study, from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found mandatory menu labelling did not promote healthier food-purchasing behaviour.