In 2009, the Oregon Menu Labeling Act was passed to provide consumers with basic nutrition information about prepared food sold at chain restaurants. The law mandated that restaurants with 15 or more outlets nationwide would provide information regarding the calories, saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates, and sodium in all menu items upon request. The number of meals people eat outside of the home has reached an all-time high (49% of food dollars are spent on eating out), so it has become imperative for consumers to have accurate information to help make healthy choices.
In general, people vastly underestimate the calories in the foods they eat. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found that 9 out of 10 people underestimated the calorie content of certain items by an average of 600 calories (almost 50% less than the actual calorie content). The National Institutes of Health believes that by providing the public with nutritional values, people are able to make informed decisions and eventually make smarter choices when it comes to food.
Currently, Oregonians can apply for pedestrian and bicycle grants through July of this year. Approximately $5 million will be distributed for construction of bicycling and walking infrastructure, which helps keep residents active and healthy. Although much of Oregon is already cycler-friendly, safer more expansive bike routes means more residents are able to stay active. Oregon policy makers continue to make small but significant adjustments in order to help keep the people healthy. Hopefully, Oregon will start to see some real changes over the coming years!