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Argument: Calories on menus empower consumers to make healthier choices

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Supporting quotations

"Fast Food Menu Calorie Counter Should Be National Law". Business Week. David Kiley. July 17, 2009: "In short, eateries—mostly fast food and family chain restaurants are effected—must post the calorie count on the menu or menu board in the same font size as the price.

I was reminded of how great the reg is recently as I was passing through LaGuardia airport in NYC, listed as the no. 5 fattest city in the U.S. by Men’s Fitness. Feeling peckish after being strip searched at security in front of a 100 people, I sauntered over to the Burger King stand, thinking I would grab a breakfast sandwich.

Full disclosure: I am trying hard to lose more weight and I have upped my cycling to a goal of 75 miles to 100 miles a week.

I hadn’t actually looked at a BK menu in a long time. The Burger King Croissan’wich w/ Sausage, Egg & Cheese was 500 calories. Add hashbrowns and you are up to 740. Add OJ and you are up above 800 cals for a grab and go breakfast. I could clearly see the calorie counts because it is required to be in the same font-size as the prices. Looking in horror, I passed.

I went to Starbuck’s and got coffee and a banana.

What is great about this regulation is that all it required BK to do is give me the information, so I could make the best choice. That is a perfect regulation."

The Department of Health argued in October of 2007, in regards to the New York city legislation mandating calorie counts on menus: "calorie information provided at the time of food selection would enable New Yorkers to make more informed, healthier choices."[1]

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York city health commissioner, said in 2007: "Today, the Board of Health passed a regulation that will help New Yorkers make healthier choices about what to eat; living longer, healthier lives as a result."[2]

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in 2008, following his signing of a bill that mandated calorie counts in restaurants in California: "When I was in the Austrian army, I drove a tank that weighed 50 tons. Now multiply that by 3,500 -- that's as many pounds as California has gained [in the past decade]. [...] This legislation will help Californians make more informed, healthier choices by making calorie information easily accessible at thousands of restaurants throughout the state."[3]

Margot Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the nonpartisan Center for Science in the Public Interest: "Isn't information that can help you avoid obesity and diabetes as important as knowing how to wash your blouse?"[4]

State Sen. Alan Bates, D-Ashland, said in June following the passage of a calorie count law in Oregon: "This bill is about enabling people to make informed choices."[5]

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