Sunday, February 17, 2008

Food Wars, Part XIV: Conflict on the Menu

We've been posting a lot about food ethics in the last couple of months, so it is fitting that from the NY Times today: "New York City’s new rules for menu labels at chain restaurants have set off a food fight among the nation’s obesity experts.

Most support the theory of the city’s health commissioner that forcing chain restaurants to list the calories alongside menu items — flagging that a Double Whopper With Cheese has 990 calories, for example — will make patrons think twice about ordering one. The rules are set to take effect at the end of March."

However, in a court affidavit seeking to block implementation of the regulations, Dr. David B. Allison, the incoming president of the Obesity Society, argues that more harm could be done than good -- either by contributing to the 'forbidden-fruit allure of high-calorie foods or by sending patrons away hungry enough that they will later gorge themselves even more.'

Whether or not the injunction filed will be successful remains to be seen: The new labeling rules by NYC's Board of Health have support from a number organizations, such as Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.

Full article and PDF link to the court filings here.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Wow! Your obesity society president in waiting is even more of a numpty than most of the people I put up with on this side of the pond.

Information does not either inhibit or enforce behaviour, but it can allow those who want to make changes to have a way of learning what is in their food