It’s the law: Fast food chains in NYC must post calorie info
July 21, 2008
In an effort to combat obesity and help consumers make healthier food choices, New York City’s landmark calorie law came in to effect this week requiring large fast-food chains to clealy display how many calories are in their meals. Chains that don’t comply face a per store fine of $2,000.
On Friday, McDonald’s and Burger King unveiled new menu boards at scores of locations throughout the city, taking calorie information and putting it front-and-center above the cash register. Patrons can still choose that gut-busting 1,500-calorie meal, but they won’t be able to say they didn’t know what they were getting into. Dietary guidelines for adults recommend about 2,000 calories a day, depending on age, gender and activity.
American adults and children consume about one-third of their calories from restaurants and other food-service establishments, and studies link frequent eating out with obesity and higher caloric intakes. Without nutrition information, it is difficult for consumers to make informed choices. In requiring fast-food restaurants to disclose calorie information on their menus, New York City has taken the lead in addressing one of the largest contributors to the nation’s obesity epidemic. The U.S. Surgeon General and the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine have also recommended that chain restaurants provide more nutrition information. New York has taken the lead. Hopefully others will follow.