Starting last year, fast food restaurants in New York City were required to list the total calories of every item on the menu. The idea was to provide greater transparency for consumers so that they can make smarter choices. Has it worked? Professors at New York University and Yale have completed a study that shows that the labeling makes consumers think they’re being healthier, but in fact they’re ordering more total calories than before the law went into effect.
Back in January of 2007, we took a look at fast food and chain restaurant websites to see who was hiding their nutritional information and who was making it easy for consumers to find out what was in their favorite menu items. We found that some chains were offering a veritable buffet of information, while others either ignored the subject altogether or hid links to PDFs in the depths of their fine print. Because of this, inside, we’ve got a nutritional info report card of about 50 top fast food joints. We tell you whether they have the info online at all, provide nutritional info for all items, if it’s easy to locate, and whether they have allergen info. We also give an overall rating to the overall quality of the nutritional info, and provide direct links to the nutrition page or PDF.
If you’d like fast food and chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards, Jim Skinner, the CEO of McDonald’s thinks you’re a “naysayer” and a “CAVE person,” — meaning Citizens Against Virtually Everything, says theChicago Tribune.
At Quiznos, which regular sub, with cheese and dressing, has the most calories? ( surveys) The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the American Heart Association recently conducted a scientific poll (unlike the completely unscientific one above) in which they asked a sampling of…
San Francisco passed a resolution last week requiring chain restaurants to display calorie information on their menus, but the industry couldn’t care less. They will continue fattening us up like gingerbread cash-cows, regardless of whatever regulations pitiful municipalities hurl their way.
The New York City Board of Health will vote today on a new regulation requiring calories on menu boards in New York City. The former rule was shot down by a federal judge who ruled that the regulation’s criteria for determining which restaurants would be required to post calorie information on their menus was illegal.
60 minutes aired a lengthy report last night on the menu labeling controversy, and all the usual suspects were in attendance.
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.
The judge in New York City found that the city’s menu labeling regulation is preempted only in one, easily fixable way.
“Starbucks also said it plans to cut the number of different drinks on its menu, a move it hopes will help baristas get customers through the line more quickly.”
Don’t get your Juicy Raspberry in a twist over it, Seattlest reminds us of the Starbucks “secret menu” (you can order whatever you want and they have to make it for you) and the infinite possibilities it contains.