I first wrote about the proposed NYC restaurant calorie law back in January NYC Fast Food Law Makes Sense
The NY State Restaurant Association is trying very hard to stop the new law that goes into effect next week for NYC restaurants requiring calorie counts be displayed right on menu boards. As Joan Rivers used to say "Oh grow up!"
The NY State Restaurant Association is crying foul because they have to pay for new menu boards and test to determine the calorie counts and other nutrition information in the food they serve (am I the only one scared that they don't already know this information). Plus, they fear it will soon not only apply to chain restaurants, but also to independents and the cost would be a lot for them to deal with.
Hello! It's called the cost of doing business. Besides, the affected places will likely just pass along the cost to the customers anyway. So that argument doesn't work.
NYC restaurants got a free pass for way too long and now these "inconveniences" will give consumers a chance to know what they are actually in for in terms of calories when they buy an item. Most people might know they are not exactly eating health food when they eat out (unless it is a health food restaurant or a specifically-identified light item), but I am sure most would be shocked at how far off their guess at their foods' calorie counts is compared to the reality.
Everyone deserves the right to make an informed decision about what they are eating!
The NY Restaurant Association's spokesperson who said that the fight against obesity "belongs in the schools and in the homes". Is he kidding us? How does that help? When someone is at a restaurant, even if they are generally a healthy eater, it's still tough to make good food choices. The same food recipes can be prepared in many ways leading to a wide range of calorie and fat content. For example, an innocent looking piece of fish may be grilled in butter and you'd never know it without knowing the calorie content for that restaurant's preparation.
Personally, if the NY State Restaurant Association wants to complain, I think the complaint should be that the NYC Calorie Count law does not yet apply to the independent restaurants, just the chains like McDonald's and Red Lobster. Why should consumers fend for themselves in the nutritional dark when they go to a non-chain restaurant?
And as I mentioned in my prior post NYC Fast Food Law Makes Sense, calories are good, but you still don't know key information about fat content (especially saturated fat and trans fat), sodium, and fiber. Also important food metrics to know.
Overall, kudos to the NYC Health Department. Now how about other local and state health departments following NYC's lead?
--Melanie R. Jordan, Author of Have Your Cheeseburger And Keep Your Health Too! Available 24/7 at http://www.HealthyEatingCoach.com
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