Popcorn and beer a healthier choice?

A MOVE to compulsory calorie disclosure on menus in the US may add to confusion over healthy food choices, nutritionists have warned.

The proposed model for the reform, due in 2012, has been revised after industry consultation and now excludes businesses that use less than 50% of their floor space for food provision.

A large box of popcorn and large soft-drink sold at a movie theatre can contain “the calories of a whole meal” but this will not be disclosed. And alcohol falls outside the FDA’s jurisdiction, so is exempt.

 “It will be confusing for people if there are calories listed for Coke… but not for beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages,” a nutritionist said. “I think it will make those beverages look like better choices.”

CMAJ 2011; 183(9):E521-2