New York City bills would help consumers—including kids—eat better

New York City Bills Would Help Consumers—Including Kids—Eat Better at Restaurants

Statement of CSPI Vice President for Nutrition Margo G. Wootan

A pair of bills introduced today in the City Council of New York would help consumers—including kids—eat and drink more healthfully at restaurants.

The first, sponsored by Council Member Mark Levine, chair of the Health Committee, would require chain restaurants in the city to display warning notices if menu items are high in added sugars. Modeled after the sodium warnings on restaurant menus adopted by the Board of Health, the bill would make New York City the first in the nation to provide clear information to diners about the added sugars often hiding in restaurant food and drinks.

The second, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require restaurants to offer healthier beverages as the default with children’s meals. Parents could still order a soda, but most will be relieved that the restaurant is putting healthier options in front of their children. The state of California, and a dozen or so cities, including Wilmington, Delaware; Louisville, Kentucky; and Baltimore, Maryland have all acted to similarly improve kids’ meals in their communities.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest strongly supports the efforts of the New York City Council to improve the health of adults and children who live in or visit New York. As we learned with the city’s efforts to eliminate artificial trans fat from restaurants and to put calories on menus: when New York City acts it shows the rest of the country what’s possible.