Sudbury

Calorie, sodium counts coming to fast-food menus near you

Nickel Belt MPP and NDP health critic France Gélinas is again introducing legislation that would force chain restaurants to post the amount of calories and sodium in food on menus.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas tabling legislation for the sixth time

The province of Ontario is one step closer to requiring that certain restaurants, including fast food chains, list the calories and sodium content of each item on their menu. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

France Gélinas says it looks like the sixth time will be a charm. 

The Nickel Belt MPP and NDP health critic is again introducing legislation that would force chain restaurants to post the amount of calories and sodium in your food right on the the menu—and it looks like it has the support of the majority Liberals. 

Gélinas said this is the sixth time she has tabled the proposed rules, now called the Healthy Decisions for Healthy Eating Act.

Gélinas said in the fight against obesity, the strategy gets results. 

"We have tested it in Ontario and, in general, people consume 380 calories less per purchase when they see the calories right in front of them."

Gelinas noted the practice of posting calories on fast-food menu boards has been happening in parts of the US with success for a number of years.

She said it seems people still eat out, they just choose healthier items more often — which has prompted some businesses to offer items with fewer calories and less salt. 

Gelinas said she has every confidence the bill will pass this time.

"I know for a fact this time because the Ministry of Health has copied my bill," she said. 

"So, they have introduced the exact same bill, and even stolen the title of it. So I know that we're off to a good start."

The government promised last October to introduce legislation that would make menu labelling mandatory.

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