November 17, 2008

Philly -- maybe -- to follow NYC's lead

Philadelphia is considering passing a law that mandates chain restaurants must post the number of calories in their meals in plain sight.

Very soon - possibly as early as today - City Council is going to vote on a bill that asks big chains like Wendy's or Applebee's to level with their customers: to post the number of calories in their meals in plain sight.

It will require other nutritional data to be available. But calorie counts - the quickest way to judge what items will make you fat - will have to be posted on menu boards, or on the menu at your table.

Just like the prices.

Not cringing on the back of a tray-liner or the side of a bag. Or on a Web site - like you're going to go online standing in line.

Here are the top 10 reasons why it should be passed:

1. How else do you know what's in what you're eating? What you see isn't what you think you get: An innocent-sounding Ruby Tuesday turkey burger with fries? That's 1,171 calories, folks, half what you need for the entire day.

And that's just lunch.

Think that's tricky? How about this: Burger King's Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich weighs in at 100 calories more than the all-beef Whopper. When did beef get lower-cal than bird?

2. Not to worry. It won't apply to Tony Luke's or Geno's or Pat's. It's only for big chains (over 15 outlets) and for their standard menus. You can still eat your home-grown cheesesteak in blissful ignorance.


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