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Nov 11, 2008 04:00 AM

Westchester requires chains to post calorie counts on menus...

A news report this morning coming out of Westchester County N.Y. says that lawmakers have passed a bill requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus. It is one of the first of such laws in the nation...Is this a good idea? Where will this lead?

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  1. It's already in effect in Manhattan.

    3 Replies
    1. re: laylag

      I don't think it will stop anyone who likes to eat at chains from eating there.

      Nor should it. Big Brother has no effect on me, I hope it is true of others.

      1. re: dolores

        There definitely have been changes since that rule went into effect in Manhattan. Many restaurants have taken some items off of the menu, added lower calorie items on the menu, reduced portion sizes and made substitutions. People also have been choosing different items, leading to an increase in sales of lower calorie items.

        I surmise similar things will happen in Westchester as well.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          Yes - I was surprised to see the calories up at the movie theater - and that a small popcorn had fewer calories than a hotdog!

    2. It seems like izakaya chains in Japan did this when I lived there. It was not a huge deal. I did not pick my izakaya based on the calorie counts. Most were busy regardless.

      1. I think it is a great idea. It won't dissuade anyone who had a hankering for something really calorific, but it can help the rest of us make more informed choices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: roxlet

          True, roxlet. Now won't it be fun if supermarkets are mandated to post the price of the raw goods that go into their overpriced foods? And retail stores are mandated to do the same, including the prices paid to the lowliest factory workers?

          Yes, truth is a good thing, isn't it?

          Then again, I didn't care that my McDonald's shake had propylene glycol in it, and I won't care how many calories are in a Whopper if I want one.

        2. It's no different from having food labels in grocery stores. It helps those who want it and those who don't can ignore it. There are so many hidden calories/fat/etc. in food, especially in restaurants. I was at an airport where the man in front of me had had surgery and couldn't have a high fat meal. He asked the counterperson about the chicken parmigiana. The counterperson was clueless and told the guy they don't have fryers so it can't be fried. They get their patties shipped in prefried. I've had that experience elsewhere, too, where they give me the same response. But, this man was going to get into a plane for a few hours after eating a high fat meal, not good, so I told him. Labels just provide information to make better choices for those who want.