Research Finds Calories Often Absent from Food Delivery Platforms
Thursday, September 14, 2023
- According to research posted on September 13, 2023 in Public Health Nutrition, restaurants posting their menus on third party platforms such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub are not consistently complying with federal regulations requiring calorie disclosures.
- Federal law requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus, and those calorie counts must be visible to consumers while making food selections, whether online or in the restaurant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paused enforcement of menu labeling requirements in April 2020 due to COVID-19, but has since promised to resume enforcement as of November 2023. However, FDA has stated publicly that third party platforms (TPPs) themselves are not covered by federal menu labeling laws [see https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/04/01/food-delivery-apps-calorie-labeling/]. FDA has made no indication that it might provide labeling requirements for TPPs, despite public interest groups urging the Agency to do so.
- Researchers examined food and drink items posted by restaurants representing the top 75 restaurant chains in four US cities and found that 60% of menus on restaurant websites or apps posted calories for every menu item reviewed. Only 27% of menus on DoorDash, 19% of menus on Uber Eats, and only 6% of menus on Grubhub had consistent calorie information. The researchers have called on FDA to clarify whether the chain restaurants can be held accountable for menus they post on the platforms.