CSPI Praises Ruby Tuesday Menu Labeling Plan

Statement of CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan

March 9, 2004

Ruby Tuesday deserves enormous credit for announcing today that it will put nutrition information for all of its items right on its menus. By doing that, by saying it will add some more healthful foods, and by its earlier decision to fry in a trans-fat-free cooking oil, Ruby Tuesday stands head and shoulders above its competitors when it comes to nutrition.

Ruby Tuesday is proving that the restaurant industry's lobbyists are wrong when they claim that it's impractical to provide nutrition information on menus. Most chains have standardized menus with carefully controlled (if overly large) portions. All large chain restaurants can do this, and they should.

Ideally, Ruby Tuesday would be listing saturated-plus-trans fat--the kind of fats that are bad for one's heart, instead of total fat; and it would list real carbohydrates instead of the potentially misleading "net carbs." We'd also prefer that the chain list sodium, since most restaurant food is too high in sodium. But despite those details, Ruby Tuesday's announcement is a historic first, and we urge Applebee's, Chili's, Outback, and other large chains to follow suit.


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