Argument: Calories on menus empower consumers to make healthier choices
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"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."
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."
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."
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?"
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."