Menus at fast food joints may carry nutrition facts soon

MUSCAT, Jan 20 – Most foods, including snacks, come with the nutrition facts on their wrappers. Now, the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) is considering mentioning it even for fast foods.
“Calorie-labelling is under active consideration,” said a source at PACP’s Quality Control Department. “We will come out with a decision soon.” The department feels mentioning calories, fats, carbohydrates and other facts on menu helps customers choose their meals wisely. Many countries have made calorie-labelling mandatory for menus at fast food joints. This is considered a tool to make customers choose their foods carefully.
In the Sultanate, there is no rule that insists that fast food chains mention the nutritional facts on the menu cards. However, the Department of Health Affairs at the Muscat Municipality has been monitoring canteens functioning inside the schools. Flash checks are carried out regularly to ensure healthy/ hygienic food is provided there. The rate of obesity has been on the rise while the other health issues are under control in the country, according to Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health.
“Adding to the woes is the consumption of fast food and unhealthy foods,” he had said on the sidelines of the launch of Oman National Nutrition Survey results last year. The survey had shown the number of underweight children below five years had increased by 11.2 per cent; The number of overweight children was 11.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent children obese.