On Wednesday April 16th, a federal judge ruled that some New York City restaurants must list the calories of dishes alongside menu prices.
Opponents of the law, the New York State Restaurant Association had claimed this law infringed upon free speech, but Judge Richard J. Holwell of the United States District Court dismissed that argument. In his 27 page ruling opinion, the judge decided that displaying calories alongside prices will enable consumers to make healthy eating choices.
“The judge’s ruling means that any restaurant chain with 15 or more nationwide outlets will have to display calorie counts on menus, menu display boards and food tags. The health department told the New York Times this covers about 10 per cent of the City’s restaurants, around 2,000 in all.
The ruling is due to take effect [today], but the restaurant association said it would be asking for it to be held back pending an appeal.
A spokesman for the restaurant association told the Times that if the ruling went ahead and then had to be withdrawn after a successful appeal, it would cause “irreparable harm”.
The association maintains that restaurants should make their own decision whether to show the calorie count of a dish on the menu, as with any other information about the nutritional value of the food it serves.”
(Read full article in Medical News Today)
New York City has a much higher incidence in obesity and type 2 diabetes compared to the rest of the nation. Proponents of the new measure hope that it will lead to a lower incidence of these diseases. Dr Thomas Frieden, New York City’s commissioner for health, told the New York Times that Judge Holwell’s decision was a “victory for New Yorkers.”
Your turn to weigh in
New Yorkers interviewed by the New York Daily News appeared to be in favor of the judge’s ruling. But we’d like to hear from you.
Do you think this new ruling will help consumers fight obesity? Let us know what you think!