Drink calorie listing nears in NYC

Food calories have been getting most of the coverage in news about New York City's new regulation requiring chain restaurants to display calorie information. However, the rule includes cocktails, sodas and other beverages that appear on menus as well.

The law is scheduled to go into effect March 31, in place of a different version that was struck down last year by a judge.

However, the New York State Restaurant Association has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the latest regulation which would require restaurants with more than 15 outlets across the country to be in compliance.

Giving consumers information about the calories in what they're drinking can help them make better choices, Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Business Week.

"We've gotten to the point in our food culture where people expect to have a sweetened beverage with their meal," she said. "People end up drinking a lot more calories than they think."

An 8-ounce margarita on the rocks has 290 calories. That size is the equivalent of a cup, but in many restaurants, drinks come in much larger sizes.

"It's really a shock to see a drink is 500, 600 calories," Nonas said. "That's almost a third of what you should eat for the day."

New York City, which banned trans-fat-laden cooking oils from all restaurants last year, is the first U.S. city to enact a regulation requiring calories on menus.

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Anonymous said...

While I don't spend too much time drinking in chain restaurants, I wonder about hotel bars. The food and cocktail menu is usually different at each hotel outlet- do you know if lobby bars would subject to these same regulations?

William M. Dowd said...


Any hotel belonging to a company with 15 or more units would come under this same rule which, for starters, is aimed at multiple-outlet companies even if their food and beverage menus differ.

MaxMurphy13 said...

Great, something else to feel guilty about.

I’ll gladly give up my hamburger today for a Margarita!

Greer said...

i dont think this calorie counting implementation will hinder businesses, other than cost them some initial money to do all the calorie counting.