House bill wants restaurants to do calorie count
Keeping track of your calories during the holidays?
A bill pending in the House of Representatives would ensure diners won’t be kept guessing about the nutrition contents of their meal by requiring restaurants to disclose how much fat and sugar their food contains.
In filing House Bill No. 5823, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas seeks to promote healthy diets by requiring restaurants and fast-food stores to add nutrition information to their menus or menu boards.
Some of the nutrition information the bill would require to be disclosed include the amount of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, fibers and protein.
The amount of calories must also be declared, though foods having lower than 5 calories may be expressed as “zero.”
Explaining the rationale for his bill, Vargas said he wished to “empower consumers with the right to choose the food they want to eat without compromising their health.”
While food labels are becoming mainstream in developed parts of the world, Filipinos “are not as informed when dining in restaurants,” Vargas said.
“They are often unaware of the calorie and nutritional contents of a meal, leading them or misleading them into an unhealthy eating pattern,” he said.
Restaurants that would violate the disclosure requirement would be fined P20,000 to P100,000.
The bill has been referred to the House health committee.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.