Back to Resources

Affordable Care Act Menu Labeling Standards

posted on Mon, Jul 1 2013 12:00 am by Western Region

The Network recently received an inquiry about federal standards for menu labeling and how they impact policies implemented by local governments -- specifically, whether the federal standards defined in Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pre-empt a local municipality’s power to create nutritional standards that apply to all food establishments.

The Network informed the requester that, while the Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a final rule on ACA menu labeling, its current interpretation concludes that federal standards contained in Section 4205 would pre-empt state and local rules that applied to restaurants subject to the ACA’s requirements (those with 20 or more locations or those opting to register for voluntary compliance), but would not pre-empt rules that applied to other restaurants (smaller chains and entities exempt under the ACA such as movie theaters). The Network also referred the requester to a journal article entitled Alternative Model to Supplement Menu Labeling, which discusses the possibility of expanding menu labeling beyond the ACA requirements.

Need more information? Ask a question.