No Calorie Counting in New York

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No Calorie Counting in New York

NEW YORK -- A federal judge nixed a city health regulation that would have required more than 2,000 restaurants here -- including chain restaurants like McDonald's -- to post items' calorie contents on the menu, The New York Times reported.

The ruling, by Judge Richard J. Holwell of U.S. District Court in Manhattan, was a victory for the New York State Restaurant Association, which had sued the city's Board of Health, challenging the regulation, the report stated. In his ruling, Holwell said the reason for the ban was due to federal laws that already cover some of the same provisions it sought to put in place, the newspaper reported.

The regulation would have forced restaurants that voluntarily divulge the nutritional information of their meals -- on Web sites, posters or tray liners -- to post that information on their menus or menu boards, according to the report.

The rule was adopted last December, but was delayed because of the lawsuit. The NY Times reported. If it had been enacted, it would have impacted 2,375 out of more than 23,000 licensed restaurants in New York, the report stated.

In papers filed to Judge Holwell this year, the city proposed that posting calorie information in a prominent place would have "a substantial potential for public health impact," and that consumers were likely to decrease their consumption if they knew how many calories they were eating, the report stated.

Holwell argued that the voluntary nature of posting nutritional content was the reason he threw out the regulation. In his ruling, he said the city could have required all restaurants to post the caloric contents of their dishes, but it was not allowed to regulate how it should be posted in locations where it is done voluntarily, the report stated.