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Health on the Menu

January 4, 2010

On Jan 1, the city of Philadelphia passed a law requiring all chain restaurants to post the nutritional content of their food on the menu.

Similar laws are already in effect in New York City and California, and more than 20 other states and municipalities are considering similar legislation.  However, the Philadelphia version is much more strict; where other bills require restaraunts to list only calories, this one stipulates they must also list saturated and trans fats, sodium, and carbohydrates.

Gary Foster, director of Temple’s Center for Obesity Research and Education,  lauds the new legislation, saying that it helps make for a more informed consumer.

“If you had calorie information when you were picking a 3-ounce muffin versus a 6-ounce muffin, you will make a different choice,” he said.

Foster has been a champion of the menu labeling initiative since its inception


in February of 2007. He worked closely with the Mayor’s office and testified in favor of the bill at a hearing held by the Committee on Public Health and Human Services in April 2008.

Last December, he and his staff and faculty at CORE hosted Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, the bill’s initial sponsor, and Deputy Mayor of Health Donald Schwarz, at a ceremony where they signed the bill into law.


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