A retrospective look at the common sense nutrition disclosure act: Small business lifeline or an impediment to informed consumer decision making?

Date01 December 2019
AuthorRonald Adams
Published date01 December 2019
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/basr.12189
Bus Soc Rev. 2019;124:515–522.
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515
wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/basr
DOI: 10.1111/basr.12189
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
A retrospective look at the common sense nutrition
disclosure act: Small business lifeline or an
impediment to informed consumer decision making?
RonaldAdams
© 2019 W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 350 Main Street, Malden,
MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK.
Department of Marketing & Logistics, The
University of North Florida, Jacksonville,
Florida
Correspondence
Ronald Adams, Department of Marketing
& Logistics, The University of North
Florida, Jacksonville, FL.
Email: radams@unf.edu
Abstract
As consumer lifestyles have changed over recent decades,
people have increasingly turned to meals prepared away
from home. A major consequence of this shift in eating pat-
terns has been a concomitant rise in obesity rates worldwide.
Research has consistently documented that consumers tend
to make less healthy choices when purchasing prepared
meals away from home. In part, this can be attributed to in-
adequate information at the time of purchase; both nutrition
experts and lay consumers tend, for example, to underesti-
mate calories in food purchased away from home and thus
portion sizes tend to be larger. Thus, by requiring restau-
rants and other purveyors of prepared foods to provide the
calorie content and other nutrition information at the point
of purchase, consumers should be able to make more in-
formed decisions and public health should be improved. The
often maligned Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”)
addressed this issue in a mandate calling for compulsory
nutrition labeling of prepared foods at the point of sale. In
response to this effort, conservatives in Congress introduced
the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act” (CSNDA)
which, if enacted, would have effectively eviscerated the
menu labeling provisions mandated by the Affordable Care
Act. The stated rationale behind this legislation: to protect
small business and prevent job loss resulting from overly-
burdensome federal regulations. This article provides a

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