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Fast Food Joints to Post Calorie Counts

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One of the largest cities in the United States is now requiring its chain restaurants to include calorie counts of foods on menus.

The New York City Board of Health has issued the edict, which will take effect on March 31, 2008, and will apply to any food chain that has at least 15 separate outlets. This includes instantly recognizable chains like McDonald's and KFC. The requirement applies to both printed menus to menu boards.

NYC health commissioners say that the measure is designed to make people aware of just how many calories are in the burgers, shakes, and chicken wings that such fast food chains routinely offer. Some chains had voiced concern with the requirement, saying that consumers knew very well that what they were ordering was high in calories and, further, that they didn't want nutrition data cluttering up menu boards.

Health commissioners also say that the overall goal is to combat obesity, which is certainly an expanding problem in the U.S., in which many studies claim that large number of people can be classified as medically obese.

It's not just burger joints and chicken chains, however. Asian food outlets will have to print their calorie counts as well.

New York is thought to be the first city in the U.S. to enact such a requirement. The city has also banned trans-fat-laden cooking oils from all its restaurants.

Graphics courtesy of ClipArt.com


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