NYC late to serve calorie counts

Amy Scott Mar 31, 2008


Doug Krizner: Health-conscious New Yorkers will have to wait a little longer for calorie information to show up on restaurant menus. Some New York City eateries were supposed to begin publishing calorie counts today, but health officials have delayed the measure. Marketplace’s Amy Scott reports.

Amy Scott: The New York City health department has postponed the calorie requirement until April 15. That gives a federal judge time to decide whether the new rule is legal.

The New York State Restaurant Association sued in January, saying the requirement violates free speech laws. The new rule only applies to chain restaurants.

But the restaurant lobby’s Chuck Hunt says those chains are made up of small franchise owners, who can’t afford the expense.

Chuck Hunt: When the cost of this is passed on by the franchisor, it’s the small business that gets affected.

New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle thinks there’s another reason the restaurant lobby objects.

Marion Nestle: Restaurant owners tell me that they absolutely believe that if people knew how many calories were in the food, they wouldn’t eat it.

Or at least not as much of it. One major chain here is expected to comply with the original deadline. Customers will soon find out this latte at Starbucks packs 190 calories.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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