What’s on the Menu for an Equitable Approach to Nutrition Labelling in Restaurants?

Public Health Ethics 8 (1):98-102 (2015)
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The primary aim of menu labelling should be understood as informing consumers such that they are better able to make informed food purchasing and consumption decisions; the extent to which consumers’ behaviours or, indeed, health outcomes, are affected may be contingent on several other factors and should therefore be considered more distal aims of what menu labelling intends to, or is able to, achieve. It is of importance to be clear about the nature and scope of menu labelling, including what it might reasonably be expected to achieve, in order to elucidate the morally relevant equity considerations that ought to accompany the design and implementation of such interventions. This commentary attempts to begin to specify what these equity considerations ought to look like given the specific situational and dispositional factors associated with menu labelling. It concludes that the goals of menu labelling interventions should be, at a minimum, to strive to give consumers equality of access to nutrition information and/or the equal opportunity or capability to make informed food decisions in the eating out environment. These considerations support a universal approach to menu labelling, but may also require targeted strategies to attend to the needs of those less capable of making informed food decisions



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Maxwell Smith
University of Western Ontario

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Health inequities.James Wilson - 2011 - In Angus Dawson (ed.), Public Health Ethics: Key Concepts and Issues in Policy and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 211-230.

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