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April 23, 2013
What’s on your menu?
Toronto Public Health released a Board of Health report today encouraging the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to develop legislation requiring chain restaurants to put calories and sodium values on their menus.

Menu labelling legislation supports the public's right to know about the nutrition content of restaurant foods. When consumers see calories and sodium values on menus before they order, they can make more informed choices when dining out. Making better choices can contribute to reduced rates of high blood pressure and obesity.

-In Toronto, 46 per cent of adults are overweight or obese.
-Almost 24 per cent of Torontonians 20 years and older have high blood pressure.

"Toronto residents are eating out more, but studies show diners underestimate the calories and sodium in their restaurant meals," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "Menu labelling will help people make more informed and healthier choices when they order their meals."

Studies show that menu labelling makes nutrition information more visible and it increases the likelihood that consumers will use this information to make healthier choices. Studies conducted by University of Toronto researchers show that putting calorie and sodium values on the menu is strongly supported by the public.

"Many restaurant chains provide nutrition information but it isn't available to consumers when placing their order. It's on a web site, or on a poster, or brochure behind the counter. People have to search for it or ask for it," said Dr. Mary L'Abbé, Nutritional Sciences Professor at the University of Toronto. "If key information is clearly placed on the menu, everyone sees it and diners can easily compare items before ordering."

The report will be presented at the Board of Health meeting to be held on Monday, April 29. Please visit:

For more information on menu labelling please visit:

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Media Contact
Kris Scheuer
Toronto Public Health



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