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NYC calorie label law

July 17, 2008

New York City law now requires chain restaurants post the calorie count of each food item in the same font as the price. Is this law necessary? Well, I can’t answer that, but it definitely has increased the level of awareness of those who regularly partake in restaurant dining (it is far more treacherous than you might think). For example, did you know:

There are barely any meals under 1,000 calories at the popular chain restaurant “TGI Friday’s”. A salad labeled a “healthful option” the pecan-crusted chicken salad, has 1,360 calories. More than the cheeseburger and fries (1,290)!

A Dunkin’ Donuts corn muffin contains 510 calories.

A chocolate chip muffin at Starbucks contains 630 calories.

The “Blooming Onion” appetizer at Outback Steakhouse has 2,000 calories (yes, it’s meant to be shared, but I’m sure two people could easily devour it).

The list goes on and on. I’ve always advised people who want to lose weight to avoid restaurants as much as possible. Even when you think you are choosing a healthful dish, most likely, it is prepared with butter (even when you ask for it without butter, they’ll sneak it in-next time you go out to a restaurant and order a side of veggies, take it home, store it overnight in the fridge, and take a peek at what it looks like the next day), a high calorie dressing, or is a larger portion than you would normally eat at home. Eating out at a restaurant is very tricky, and unless you have a GREAT sense of what a true portion size looks like and can order very specifically, I would suggest saving it for special occasions.

What do you think about this law? Too harsh? Would you like to see it passed in Los Angeles?

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