Comparing Legal, Economic, and Legislative Approaches to Nutritional Labeling of Fast Food Items
Update: Food and Drug Law, Regulation, and Education, Vol. 1, No. 4, January/February 2005
5 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2005
This article explores four theoretical approaches to the nutritional labeling of fast food items: 1) The Voluntary Agreement Model; 2) The Free Market/Light Menu Model; 3) The Litigation Model; and 4) The Legislative Model. These models are explored in the context of the increasing frequency at which Americans consume fast food, the surging percentage of Americans who are overweight, and the recognition that more than half of all obesity-related costs are borne by taxpayers and employers. Related analysis also pertains to an application of Consumer Choice Theory to food choice. After concluding that the first three models are likely deficient in redressing related concerns, this article recommends that fast food restaurants generate full nutritional disclosure for items aimed at children 14 and under; that such disclosure replicate the format established by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act; and that it be available at the point-of-sale.
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