Paterson Opens New Front in ‘War on Obesity’

ALBANY—David Paterson will introduce a bill to require chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, taking a New York City law and extending it statewide.

The bill would, according to a press release, require all “restaurants, mobile vendors, grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail stores belonging to chains that do business nationally and offer standardized menus” to post calorie counts on their menus. The initiative is part of a War on Obesity (their capitalization, not mine) that the governor first spoke about during the state budget process, when he proposed a tax on sugary drinks. He later backed away from it.

Standing with the state’s health commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and health advocates, Paterson said the measure would help people make more informed choices.

“When people know the amount of calories in their choices, they make better choices,” he said, saying obesity is “a serious health hazard and a costly health hazard.”