Santa Clara County Supports Nutrition Facts on Menus
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to direct county staff to draft an ordinance that would require chain restaurants to post the calorie content of their food, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The board plans to vote on the ordinance in the coming months. Several supervisors said the ordinance would be part of an effort to reduce obesity, which affects an estimated 25% to 30% of the county's youth.
Supervisors in San Francisco and San Mateo counties are considering ordinances that would place calorie counts next to the prices on menus or overhead menu boards, the Mercury News reports (Lohse, San Jose Mercury News, 12/5).
The legislation proposed by the board of supervisors is "the latest quick-fix diet scheme proposed in the name of public health," Richard Berman, executive director of the not-for-profit Center for Consumer Freedom, writes in a Mercury News opinion piece.
"Nutrition activists have already tried and failed at the knowledge-equals-behavior approach," Berman writes, adding that the proposal "would only target restaurants with standardized menus and 15 or more locations," which excludes most county restaurants.
Berman adds, "There's a huge difference between personal responsibility and dietary paternalism," concluding, "Americans should still have a right to guilt-free eating" (Berman, San Jose Mercury News, 12/5).