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Restaurant chains in NYC must display calorie count on menus

21 April 2008 by
Restaurant chains in NYC must display calorie count on menus

Chain restaurants in New York City must display calorie counts on their menus, a judge has ruled, reinforcing new legislation that aims to combat obesity in the city.

Under the law, any restaurant chain with 15 or more outlets must display calorie contents on menus, menu boards or food tags.

The move comes after the New York State Restaurant Association lost its case to oppose the regulations in a federal court last week.

More than 2,000 restaurants, amounting to around 10% of New York's eateries, will be affected by the legislation.

The ruling judge said the legislation would help reduce obesity in the city, which has reached "epidemic levels".

"It seems reasonable to expect that some consumers will use the information to select lower calorie meals," he said. "These choices will lead to a lower incidence of obesity."

While some of New York's restaurant chains such as Starbucks have already started to display nutritional information on their menus, other groups, including McDonald's, have resisted the move.

Chain operators now have until 3 June to comply with the regulations or face fines.

In 2006 New York City banned unhealthy trans-fats from use in its restaurants, after the city's Board of Health came to a unanimous decision to ban the fats to combat obesity and heart disease.

In the UK Yo! Sushi has become the first chain to adopt the Food Standards Agency's traffic-light labelling system in store.

Yo! Sushi gives green signal to traffic light system >>

New York City health officials ban trans-fats in restaurants >>

Food Standards Agency says no trans fat ban needed >>

FSA denies talks with restaurants over traffic light labelling system >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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