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Jul 15, 2009 09:01 PM

Has new California calories-info restaurant law, or the N.Y.C. law, been of use to you?

This is just in the news out here in California, since the law took effect July 1.

Weighing California's restaurant calorie-listing law

Requires: "... restaurants in California with 20 or more locations to provide brochures with nutritional information by July 1, 2009..."

The New York City law:
Fed court upholds New York City's calorie-posting rule

"...requires chain restaurants with 15 or more establishments nationally to prominently display calorie content..."

For instance, out here we have California Pizza Kitchen, and while I don't know if they did this before I know they at least haven't done it a long time. Their calories counts, shown at this link, also appear on their menu. (At least the items I looked through on the menu.

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  1. I laughed. The CPK salads have shockingly high calorie counts and when I went to the next page for the pizzas, the calorie counts were impressively low...until I read the fine print at the bottom of the page stating that the pizza calorie count represented 1/6 of the pizza (or per slice).

    3 Replies
      1. re: Cinnamon

        I agree !

        Wonder what next these good- for -nothing Politicians will legislate ! How many times can I go the bathroom while on a Train ?? Or like China, How many kids can one have ??

        1. re: trevorlongisland

          I know! Can you imagine? All these politicians! Giving us *information*! On which we can base our own *decisions!* Talk about overstepping boundaries.

          [sarcasm, in case it isn't obvious]

    1. In a word, NO. I view all of this type of legislation as political grandstanding by some low level pol that needs to get his or her name into the record for "supporting good health". It's really useless legislation. People will eat it or not because they like the food, not because this salad or pizza or chicken wing recipe has X less calories than the one down the street.

      1 Reply
      1. re: araknd

        While I do agree people will eat what they want to eat, I have to disagree on a overall level. This is part of the educational process of improving diet, slowly. It might take decades but giving people the information to make a decision that could effect their health is a good idea. How people choose to use that data is up to them.

        Given the obesity in the U.S. (and the cost to the taxpayer/everyone) and the cost to provide the info, it's a no brainer to me. Again, it's up to people how they use or don't use the info.

        Personally if I see the triple heart attack burger has 850 calories, I'd probably think twice but if I'm there I'm still going to buy something, just a bit the single heart attack burger at 200 calories.

      2. Anecdotal, but: I was picking up a coffee at dunkin donuts the other day and the two women in front of me were out-of-towners unused to seeing their donut calories so clearly laid out before them. They were going to order a couple of donuts and that sugary "coffee drink", but instead just got a regular iced coffee and split a donut. Apparently they were surprised donuts and coolattas have a lot of calories -- but it did affect their behavior.

        1. I kind of appreciate the information, actually, tho in all honestly, I set foot in a chain restaurant so rarely that it's a bit of a moot point. (Note: I have nothing at all against chain restaurants -- in fact, I love the chili and salads at Wendy's -- but chain restaurants other than Starbucks and MickyD's, which I don't really like, are actually pretty hard to find in many parts of NYC.)

          I think a big fat calorie count would, in fact, affect my ordering decisions in a restaurant. And I'd be even more curious (and probably more appalled) to know the calorie count for the halal chicken and rice cart offerings I junk out on all too often.

          Interesting post, Cinnamon.

          6 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            >I'd be even more curious (and probably more appalled) to know the calorie count for the halal chicken and rice cart offerings I junk out on all too often.<

            Indeed. It's not just the U.S. apparently (though I haven't seen the sweetness levels this high outside Austria)... watched Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" the other night when they aired his trip to Chile. The sandwiches put the biggest NYC pastrami meals to shame. And mayo by the bucketful.

            1. re: Cinnamon

              And that wasn't fat free Miracle Whip, there, either -- phew.

              Sometimes I think it's better to live in blissful ignorance... But then, again, it's helpful to know when you're going to get heartburn. Then you, at least, can remember to bring the antacid.

            2. re: cimui

              I agree with you. Just like I appreciate that I can read nutrition labels at the grocery store. It is good to be informed about what you are really eating. Though it may have been politics as usual that caused this to pass I think some will definitely benefit from it. =)

              1. re: DishDelish

                ever since i developed a wheat intolerance, i've been reading labels on food far more carefully than i ever did. it's affected my eating habits quite a lot, actually. who knew that V-8, one of my favorite drinks, had THAT much sodium in it? aye carumba!

                1. re: cimui

                  Don't even go near Clamato. (Which I love... but...)

                  1. re: cimui

                    I love V8 too, and the low sodium one is so gross. Oh, and one of my other favorites is a virgin bloody mary whenever flying. Wow, that really packs in the sodium! Over 1000 mg. I don't do that anymore cause then I really swell up.
                    Thanks to my Mothers wisdom I have always been a label reader. There are some very yummy wheat free products available now, do you make your own breads?

              2. In NYC the counts have been helpful when browsing indecisively somewhere. It reminds me that that little bite I was craving is really not worth it. The snack would be better put to use else where like at a good meal.