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Steve Wise: List Calories Directly on Restaurant Menus

Counting your calories could get a whole lot easier under a proposal released Wednesday that would require Florida restaurants and fast food chains to list the caloric content of each meal on the menu.

Rep. Ed Homan, R-Tampa, and Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, have filed legislation that would require nutritional labeling to appear directly on the menus. The information, the lawmakers said, will help patrons make healthier choices and put a dent in the nation's obesity rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state's obesity rate in 2008 was 24.4 percent.

“Our nation is getting heavier if you haven't noticed, much heavier,” Homan said.

The legislation would give big restaurant chains one year to comply with the legislation and mom and pop places two years.

Other states and cities have enacted similar legislation. California passed a law last summer requiring menu labeling and New York City and Philadelphia have similar requirements. Several other states are looking at the idea this year as well. Legislation is also being considered on the national level, which if passed, would supersede anything passed on the state level.

The Florida Restaurant Association released a benign saying its members are working to provide healthy choices on menus, but stopped short of endorsing the plan, which would ultimately cost businesses a considerable sum of money to reprint the menus with the nutrition information.

“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association continues to support the proactive measures already taken by our industry in providing consumers with heart healthy choices on their menus,” said the group’s president, Carol Dover. “FRLA is engaged at the federal level and working to provide a national solution thus avoiding unnecessary regulation on the hundreds of thousands of Florida restaurateurs during these difficult economic times.”

7 Responses »

  1. How absurd.

    This will require restaurants to reprint menus, which will make prices go up. I don't think most people will even notice that calorie counts are on there anyway.

    Our legislators need to focus on more important things, like balancing the state budget for one.

  2. Agree with Larry, utter waste of time and expense.

    Nanny, i.e. government at any level, approach to most anything NEVER works. In fact I resent any attempts to manage my life.

  3. Yeah, Butt out Government!
    Who's going to decide on how many calories are in the meal on the menu?
    Who's going to make sure that each recipe is adhered to?
    Who's going to make sure that the servings are the same each time?
    Who's going to pass judgment on the taste-test, or are all recipes to be the same?
    What's to happen to the Restaurant that fails, one day, to keep their soup under the reported calories?
    When the government gets through fining the restaurant owner, where does the money go?
    when the Restaurant owner can't pay the fine, where does he get his next paycheck?
    Will the next step be my kitchen at home?
    Will sunday's fried chicken be a thing of the past?
    Well the Preacher not be invited over for Grandmom's biscuits?
    Perhaps the dollar should have a calorie count affixed and each spending bill carry a justification of its dispersal.
    It would be interesting to see the calorie count of my property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes.

  4. Old enough here to recall Steve Wise's first campaign when his people put a bag of WISE potato chips on doorknobs along with his campaign ad.

    How about a gag order on politicians? Might make em keep their big mouths shut for awhile.


  5. "California, New York City and Philadelphia"?? Do we really want to emulate them?

    They just don't get it do they? They're supposed to protect us from criminals, la-la land socialists and greedy capitalists, NOT interfere in our lives.

  6. This piece of legislation is absurd. We do NOT want the government to protect us from ourselves. This is totalitarian. Rep. Ed Homan, R-Tampa, and Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, do you not see that what you are proposing to do is identical to what the leftist DemocRATs are trying to do to us in Washington? The voters see it. I expected better behavior from Republicans.

    It's not restaurant meals per se that made Americans fat, it's the food additives and preservatives we've been consuming in convenience foods (and restaurant meals) in ever increasing quantities. One example is high fructose corn syrup. It has been show to increase obesity and diabetes in people,and is present in almost all commercially produced foods.

    Why is this food additive so popular?? The answer is big government; they subsidize corn production, causing an overproduction of corn, which lead to a search for other ways to sell their product, which lead to the production of HFCS, making HFCS an inexpensive substitute for real sugar, whic is not nearly as harmful as high fructose corn syrup.

    Anyways, my point is: Legislators, stop trying to control our lives, that's NOT why we elected you. Stop trying to control us, or you will be joining the unemployed lines after the next election, no matter what your political affiliation is. We voters are keeping a close eye on all of you.

    And Dean, the politicians are not in government to protect us from ANYONE. We elect them to uphold the Constitution of the United State, and our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.