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Making Headway or Headed Nowhere?

* Expand consumer nutrition information.

* Provide clear and consistent media messages.

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

On products and packaging

Grade: C+

"Companies have been working to reformulate products to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, salt and added sugars. They also have produced more products in portion-controlled packaging; 92% of respondents in a survey by the Grocery Manufacturers Association have introduced or reformulated over 10,000 products and sizes offering with nutritional improvements. [But] many processed foods are still high in saturated fat, sodium and added sugars and do not contain adequate whole grains, fruits and vegetables."

On consumer nutrition information

Grade: B+ for manufacturers

"Virtually all packaged foods are required by law to provide nutrition facts labels on packages. However, this detailed nutrition information should be supplemented by simple, easy to use, front-of-package labeling, which makes it easier for people to identify healthier foods. "

Grade: D- for restaurants

"Many restaurant meals are high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. Half of chain restaurants don't provide any nutrition information to their customers. . . . The restaurant industry has been vigorously opposing state and local efforts to require calorie labeling on menus."

On media messages


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