After many delays, the federal menu labeling provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act is expected to be implemented nationally in May 2018. The rule mandates that calorie information be posted on menus and menu boards in restaurants or similar retail food establishments with more than 20 outlets. Menu labeling was conceptualized as a tool to give consumers better information about their food purchases,but the impact of menu labeling may be mostly realized through restaurant industry’s reformulation of products to have fewer calories. This presentation examines the impact of menu labeling on restaurant behavior.
Sara Bleich is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her scholarship lies at the nexus of health policy and health services research. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among populations at higher risk for obesity. This work is composed of three complementary streams of inquiry: 1) pathways for change in major drivers of calorie intake, 2) health provider opportunities to improve obesity care, and 3) novel environmental strategies for obesity prevention. A signature theme throughout her work is an interest in asking simple, meaningful questions about the complex problem of obesity which can fill important gaps in the literature. Sara is the past recipient of an award for “most outstanding abstract” at the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, an award for “best research manuscript” in the journal Obesity, and an award for excellence in public interest communication from the Frank Conference. Sara was recently appointed as a White House Fellow (2015-2016) where she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).