Chain restaurants in New York City must post their calorie counts on menu boards as of Saturday or face the prospect of hefty fines.
Chains with 15 or more restaurants must adjust their menu boards to show calorie counts in the same font size as the price or face fines of up to $2,000 US.
‘You can check online to see the calorie counts of pretty much any big chain restaurant. You'd be surprised how many of the "healthy choice" items are actually very unhealthy. They are only "healthy" in comparison to the worse items on the menu.’
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Under Canada's food labelling system, prepackaged foods and drinks must list information on calories, fat, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, sugar, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C in a nutrition box. However, food producers such as restaurants and bakeries do not have to disclose any nutritional information.
New York State's Restaurant Association is fighting the law, saying it violates the First Amendment rights of restaurants.
The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has estimated that New Yorkers consume at least one-third of their calories away from home.
"The lack of readily available calorie information in food service establishments makes it easy to consume too many calories without realizing it," the department notes on its website. "Just 100 extra calories every day adds up to 10 pounds a year."
In June, New York City introduced a ban on trans fats, forcing restaurants to rewrite their recipes and alter their menus.