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NYC Chain Restaurants Required to Display Calories, Starting Monday

I applauded New York City when it banned trans fat from restaurants and started using healthier oils. I was psyched that fast food chains were also being required to post calorie counts on their menus but annoyed that McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's decided that rule didn't apply to them. So it went through the courts, and too bad for them, they're going to have to listen. A judge declared that this regulation is reasonable and will apply to restaurants in NYC that are part of chains with at least 15 outlets across the country. That includes fast-food places like McDonald’s and sit-down chains such as Olive Garden and T.G.I. Friday’s.

The calorie posting rule goes into effect this Monday, April 21. Some restaurants including Starbucks and Chipotle have already started to post calories on menus, but the Health Department won't start fining non-complying restaurants until June 3.

NYC is hoping that by displaying calories, consumers can make healthier choices (like deciding NOT to super-size it), and it will then help to reduce the prevalence of obesity and diabetes (type 2). New York City is the first US city to enact a regulation regarding displaying calories on menus, but Seattle and the state of California are both considering similar bills. Pretty awesome, huh? Do you think this displayed info will affect people's food decisions?

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rpenner rpenner 7 years
I understand what heartbreaker is saying but I do agree this is a good thing. And even if it only effects the people who are already trying to eat healthy, at least everyone is informed of what they are consuming. It's a first step. I also like Deadly Lemur said; I'd love it if it made restaurants create smaller portions!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I think this is awesome, I hope this trend catches on.
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 7 years
To be honest, I think this is a double edged sword (posting calories). On one hand, it is great for people to get a better idea of the nutrients they are consuming and make wiser choices, but I think it opens up the opportunity for people to get obsessed with calories and counting and for young kids it is even more dangerous this day and age considering all the statistics on eating disorders, etc.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I think it's a good idea. It's not going too far (like banning certain menu items), but at least people who choose to eat a 1000 calorie hamburger will KNOW that they're eating that. I always check the calorie counts of foods that I'm going to eat online before I go to the restaurant, but having the calories posted right there would be really helpful.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
ugh.... that pciture is rather disturbing. i'm disgusted by it and it makes me hungry at the same time.anyways, i say good idea on the calorie labeling. people will eat what they want to eat but at the very least they're informed about what they're eating.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
ugh.... that pciture is rather disturbing. i'm disgusted by it and it makes me hungry at the same time. anyways, i say good idea on the calorie labeling. people will eat what they want to eat but at the very least they're informed about what they're eating.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
I know that it would make it a lot easier for people on a diet to take better care of themselves. You always try to pick what you think will have the fewest calories although there really is no way of knowing.
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 7 years
Taking the devil's advocate approach, I do not really think that labeling menu items with their calorie count is going to make that much of a difference. People who go out to eat are paying not only for the food, but for the ambiance of the restaurant and for a couple of hours where they do not have to do work, they just have to sit and enjoy their meals. Now, they have to worry about counting their calories in the restaurant and comparing things on the menu. Restaurants are places where people go to have an enjoyable experience, not to continually anguish over what they are consuming. Now, I understand that some people eat out quite often, and if eating out counts for a majority of your meals, then maybe this regulation could help you. However, I think America needs to encourage people to adopt an OVERALL healthy lifestyle. This includes making your own foods or opting for lean meats and veggies. By labeling everything for people, it is not teaching them to make the correct decision when it comes to food, it just teaches them to rely on what the restaurant tells them. All common sense goes out of the window. When those people go home, how are they going to make the choice to eat fruit for dessert instead of brownies when there is no label telling them what to do?
citygirl2 citygirl2 7 years
awesome! i hope this sparks a change for the whole country!
bamon25 bamon25 7 years
Thanks for sharing this. I think what NYC is doing is great. More cities around the U.S. need to do this. I know here in Seattle we are considering the same law.If people knew what was in fast food, they probably wouldn't eat it.
bamon25 bamon25 7 years
Thanks for sharing this. I think what NYC is doing is great. More cities around the U.S. need to do this. I know here in Seattle we are considering the same law. If people knew what was in fast food, they probably wouldn't eat it.
Kate-Marie Kate-Marie 7 years
I think this is just AWESOME! Hopefully it will encourage people to make better choices about what they eat. I hope the idea spreads elsewhere.
Deadly-Lemur Deadly-Lemur 7 years
Like scorpstar77, I would like the option to at least make a decision based on the facts presented. To add to that, I'd also want a rule that says the restaurant can't make a judgment call on what's "healthy". That is, they can't put the nutrition info the menu and add a "Heart Healthy!" or "Good for Lowering Cholesterol" to it. Just present the info & nothing else, and let people decide what kind of nutrition they need.Rivrchild, I don't think it will encourage restaurants to start making dishes healthier so they'll sell better. Chances are they'll just reduce the portion size they give you, so the numbers will be lower. Which is fine with me, portions today are ridiculous. I'm so sick of going out with people who eat the whole thing every time and then complain they ate too much. That's a personal issue, but smaller portions would lessen my own annoyance... :)
Deadly-Lemur Deadly-Lemur 7 years
Like scorpstar77, I would like the option to at least make a decision based on the facts presented. To add to that, I'd also want a rule that says the restaurant can't make a judgment call on what's "healthy". That is, they can't put the nutrition info the menu and add a "Heart Healthy!" or "Good for Lowering Cholesterol" to it. Just present the info & nothing else, and let people decide what kind of nutrition they need. Rivrchild, I don't think it will encourage restaurants to start making dishes healthier so they'll sell better. Chances are they'll just reduce the portion size they give you, so the numbers will be lower. Which is fine with me, portions today are ridiculous. I'm so sick of going out with people who eat the whole thing every time and then complain they ate too much. That's a personal issue, but smaller portions would lessen my own annoyance... :)
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 7 years
Yes Mondaymoos, I agree. The only people it will influence and help make better choices are the people who are already trying to eat healthier. Someone who really doesn't make healthy choices as it is, I don't think will walk into the restaurant and make a decision based on calories. I think they are there to get what they want. When I eat fast food I pick the healthiest thing I can find and remove anything like mayo and I don't use dressing. Also when I decided to eat more healthy, I went on the web-sites of places I tend to stop because of the kids and studied their nutriton. Which is pretty amazing to read. I was VERY surprised.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 7 years
Yes Mondaymoos, I agree. The only people it will influence and help make better choices are the people who are already trying to eat healthier. Someone who really doesn't make healthy choices as it is, I don't think will walk into the restaurant and make a decision based on calories. I think they are there to get what they want. When I eat fast food I pick the healthiest thing I can find and remove anything like mayo and I don't use dressing. Also when I decided to eat more healthy, I went on the web-sites of places I tend to stop because of the kids and studied their nutriton. Which is pretty amazing to read. I was VERY surprised.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
Honestly, I think the people that care about the calorie content already KNOW how many there are... but right on if it helps some people make better decisions.Still, my favorite magazine article is the McDonalds salad=1 double cheeseburger, small fry and diet coke in calories. I'll take the cheeseburger, please.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
Honestly, I think the people that care about the calorie content already KNOW how many there are... but right on if it helps some people make better decisions. Still, my favorite magazine article is the McDonalds salad=1 double cheeseburger, small fry and diet coke in calories. I'll take the cheeseburger, please.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
i live in nyc too and i was at starbucks yesterday - i noticed for the first time that the calorie count was everywhere! as if i needed another reason not to get the chocolate chip cookie, it was staring at me in the pastry case! i love this idea, it will really help make people more conscious of their choices.
nutella2683 nutella2683 7 years
yea Martini Rossi, same here! I live in NYC and was at Starbucks and my friend got a slice of iced lemon cake.. like 590 calories or something. It was shocking and it's good that it's so in your face like that. Def made me avert my eyes from the pastry display! Can't wait to go to other chains to see this in effect~
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
Good! I don't eat a ton of fast food though...
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
I really wish it was like this in my city. I usually go on the websites before I know I am going out to a restaurant to see what I can eat and what calories are in everything; but many restaurants don't even post things on their sites like this.
rivrchild rivrchild 7 years
I am all for this. I think it's great. Even if you look at the menu and see that your favorite salad is 800+ calories, at least you KNOW it. I just wonder if this will have an effect on how restaurants cook their meals. Maybe it's hoping too much, but it could eventually prompt them to make their regular dishes lower in calorie, instead of "It tastes amazing and what the consumer doesn't know can't hurt them!"
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