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Calories, Calories Everywhere!

August 4, 2008

Recently, The Department of Health passed a rule enforcing New York City chain restaurants to post their calorie content on menus. This was not an easy feat and has been in the works for a while. Michael Jacobson, executive director of The Center for Science in the Public Interest and guest speaker at Integrative Nutrition has been urging fast food restaurants to do this since the 1980s.  

The menu rule only applies to restaurants that serve standardized portions and have 15 or more locations nationwide. This is all part of New York’s anti-obesity campaign. In an earlier post we mentioned how an area in LA recently passed a law prohibiting new fast food restaurants from opening due to the high rate of obesity in that area. If McDonald’s or Taco Bell promises to include calorie information will the City Council reconsider?  

Some restaurants in New York were caught off guard and are slowly, if at all, adapting. Those who don’t change their menus face a $2,000 fine. Other restaurants are only offering calorie information for some items, but not for others. The goal of this rule is so people can make more informed, healthier choices, not to take these chains out of business. Even if you are not in New York, have you noticed some restaurants posting calorie information on their menu boards? Which cities? Does it influence what you order?

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.