FDA Encourages Restaurants to Cut Portion Sizes

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

June 2, 2006

The Food and Drug Administration is serving up some strong recommendations to the nation's restaurants. It's asking them to help Americans slim down.

The FDA found that one-third of what Americans eat is from a restaurant, and the majority of the time they are unaware of how many calories are in their food. They're encouraging restaurants to offer healthier options such as smaller portions and calorie menus.

In a study released Friday, the FDA found that 64 percent of Americans are overweight and another 30 percent are obese, but the National Restaurant Association says you can't make people eat what they don't order, and some local patrons agreed.

"I don't believe restaurants should limit their portion size, I feel like it's up to the person to decide how much of a portion they're going to eat," said Vaness Fuller.

"People should be responsible for what they eat, but sometimes restaurants put hidden things in them, salt and chemicals that you don't know are there," said Ellora Young.

The FDA's report doesn't blame restaurants for the obesity rates, but there are some studies that show a connection. Still, many places are already catching on and have started offering healthier menus.

Estimates show America's weight problems cost about $93 billion in medical expenses.

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