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Consumers must be informed of the calorie content from food and beverages they order from fast food and restaurants to help them monitor their weight and avoid health risks associated with “obesity.”

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima stressed this point in filing Senate Bill 1621 mandating fast food and restaurant chains “to display” calorie content information on the menus of “away-from-home” foods sold in most fast food and restaurant chains

Also covered by SB 1621 are food sold at salad bar, buffet line, cafeteria line or similar self-service facility where calorie content information should be clearly and conspicuously displayed on their menus or menu boards.

“Weight gain occurs when more calories are consumed than are expended. Eating out, and eating extra calories while eating out, contribute disproportionately to the excess calorie intake that fuels the rise in incidence of obesity,” De Lima said.

While most packaged foods are already required to disclose nutritional facts, De Lima noted that those meals sold through food service establishments which serve food that were easily available, inexpensive and high in calories do not contain such disclosure.

“The health conscious have to guess at the nutritional content of meals taken in restaurants. On the other hand, those who are less aware of the need for proper dieting are left unaware of the nutritional values that they intake,” she said.