New York City Health Dept. Proposes That Restaurant Chains with 15+ Outlets List Calories

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

October 24, 2007

Thanks to the perseverance of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Commissioner Frieden, and Mayor Bloomberg, diners at chain restaurants with 15 or more outlets nationally may soon see listings of calories on menus and menu boards. The new proposed regulations are carefully designed to avoid any potential conflicts with federal food labeling law, and will be compliant with the decision of Judge Holwell in the restaurant industryís ill-intentioned lawsuit against the city.

Itís time for the chain restaurant industry to get over its fear of menu labeling. Itís pathetic to watch these companies go to such thuggish lengths to keep their customers in the dark. Instead of hiring expensive lobbyists and filing court-clogging lawsuits, the industry should take advantage of calorie labeling as a business opportunity and try to compete with each other to offer healthier dishes.


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