Legislation would put nutrition info on chain restaurant menus, menu board

ALBANY-New Yorkers waiting in line at McDonald’s may soon be able to see that a Big Mac costs 590 calories, if legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz becomes law. The bill would require fast-food chain restaurants to list calorie information on menu boards and would require table-service chain restaurants to list calories, saturated fat, and sodium content on menus.

"We congratulate Assemblyman Ortiz for fighting to give New Yorkers better information about their food choices," said Margo G. Wootan, CSPI’s director of nutrition. "Too often, nutrition information in chain restaurants is hard to find, hard to read, or missing altogether. This bill would take the guesswork out of restaurant dining." Wootan joined Ortiz at a news conference in Albany to announce the introduction of the bill.

New York is the second state in which menu-labeling legislation has been introduced. In February, Maine legislators proposed chain-restaurant-menu labeling as part of a comprehensive anti-obesity package. According to CSPI, away-from-home foods account for a third of adults’ and childrens’ caloric intakes, and the high calorie content and large portion sizes of some restaurant foods are key contributors to the skyrocketing rates of overweight and obesity in children and adults.