New York City Proposes New Menu Labeling Regulations

NYC just isn’t giving up. They’ve rewritten the menu labeling regulation so that rather than making the menu rules dependent on whether or not the restaurant was already supplying nutritional information, all restaurants with more than 15 locations nationally will be required to put calorie info on the menus. This change puts them in accordance with federal law.

Deal with it, Wendy’s! BK! Starbucks! Subway is making you all look bad. Put some healthy crap on the menus. Quick, before anyone notices. People will still order the Bacon Triple Stack Mocha Latte Fries.

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO REPEAL AND REENACT §81.50 OF THE NEW YORK CITY HEALTH CODE(PDF) [via CSPI]
(Photo:Jay Adan)

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  1. kimsama says:

    Geez, with the success of Hardee’s Thickburger and ridiculous burrito, I’m not sure why these restuarants can’t acknowledge that even if customers have the nutrition information, they will still sometimes eat insane amounts of calories.

    More information for consumers = a good thing.

  2. AlisonAshleigh says:

    I hate being unable to find nutrional info for restaurants. I’m less likely to eat at places that don’t list it, even if I can order something obviously healthy and low in calories. I’d love nutrional info for Quizno’s & Outback!!!

  3. new and troubling questions says:

    This is a relief, since without nutritional info, I’d really have absolutely no way of knowing that a bacon quadruple cheeseburger has a lot of fat and calories.

  4. Red_Eye says:

    I support the intent of this but the FF places will bring suit and say that their national presence is none of New Yorks business nor can they fairly legislate of their other commercial entities.

  5. balthisar says:

    What about franchises? If I own six McDonald’s, do I have to follow this silly rule? No guesses — is there a link to the code? Or maybe they’re all corporate-owned in NYC?

    Seems like it’d be a lot easier and more fare just to make everyone do. If it’s no big deal, then it’s no big deal, right?

    When I say “silly rule” I mean in the sense that it’s discriminatory, not that there’s anything wrong with making information available per se, other than possible first amendment problems.

  6. girly says:

    @kimsama:

    I agree. Wouldn’t you know I can’t remember where I saw it, but there was some show about obesity in america, and they were saying that nutrition labels were unnecessary because we have them and we are fatter than ever.

    But even just from a consumer standpoint, they are very valuable.

  7. STrRedWolf says:

    All I can say is MMMMMMMMMMMMMM bacon….

  8. magus_melchior says:

    People will still order the Bacon Triple Stack Mocha Latte Fries.

    You mean I can get my heart attack in a box four different ways? Where do I sign up?

  9. Catperson says:

    @Supercheap – no, but you probably wouldn’t realize that most of the chicken selections at McDonald’s are as bad or worse than their burgers, nor would you realize that many salads at restaurants nowadays have more calories than the average adult male needs in a day.

    I’m so sick of people protesting this by saying that people know what’s healthy and what’s not. The fact is that a lot of restaurants depend on people not knowing this very information to sell them items that appear to be healthy choices but are really loaded with hidden fat and calories.

  10. psm321 says:

    @balthisar:
    “(1) Covered food service establishment shall mean a food service establishment within the City of New York that is one of a group of 15 or more food service establishments doing business nationally, offering for sale substantially the same menu items, in servings that are standardized for portion size and content, that operate under common ownership or control, or as franchised outlets of a parent business, or do business under the same name.”

    (The proposed code is listed in the PDF linked here, starting on page 14)

  11. TedOnion says:

    I love the idea of calorie information on restaurant menus! I’ve been meaning to get around to asking my city council if they have considered something similar.

  12. new and troubling questions says:

    @Catperson: let me rephrase – now i have a way of knowing that breaded, deep-fried chicken strips and salads with sugary, fatty spoonfuls of dressing are, apparently, not so healthy…yes, restaurants depend on people’s ignorance, but frankly, they probably manage to eat lots of processed crap even though it’s plainly labeled.