Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Beverage shops to be required to show calorie information

BEING HEALTHY:Calorie counts will be presented on menus, posters and electronic displays, to be determined by the shop owners’ own preferences

Staff Writer, with CNA

Calorie counts will be displayed on the walls at designated chains of beverage shops in Taipei beginning this summer, the Taipei City Government said yesterday, in a move to remind consumers about the health consequences of their choices.

Beverage shops that sell everything from bottled soft drinks to bubble milk tea and herbal concoctions are located nationwide.

BENEFITS

Often, locals and tourists sip from 500cc plastic beverage containers in their hands while walking around town. Health officials, however, have raised concerns that the over-consumption of sugar-laden drinks might cause health problems.

“The new calorie-labeling program is expected to be a great benefit to those with special health conditions like diabetes and metabolism problems,” said Chen Lih-chi (陳立奇), acting director of the city’s Food and Drug Administration.

NOT MANDATORY

Although the program, at its initial stage, is not mandatory, 11 beverage chains with more than 100 branches have already volunteered to participate, he said.

The calorie counts will be presented in various ways, such as on menus, posters and electronic displays, depending on the creativity of the shop owners, Chen said.

EXTENSIONS?

Asked if the health initiative will be extended to other food-related businesses, Chen said that food products sold in convenience stores are already participating and the city government would continue to push restaurants to adopt the idea.

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