New York City to Demand Warning Signs on Sugar

Julie Gunlock

So, New Yorkers deal with crappy subways, soaring rents, poverty, crime and drug addiction issues, a serious homeless problem, racial conflict, and housing shortages.  Oh, and by the way, the rat problem is getting worse in the Big Apple. The New York Post’s report gives me shivers:

Citywide, the rat population grew about 10 percent from 2016 to 2017 based on complaints filed to 311, the RentHop study released on Tuesday shows.

Brooklyn had the most complaints borough wide, with a whopping 7,253 in 2017. But Manhattan had the most when compared to the size of the borough, with 197.5 complaints per square mile.

There were a total of 19,152 complaints citywide in 2017, up from 17,230 the previous year.

The Upper West Side and Harlem had 731 and 865 rat sightings last year, respectively, while Bedford-Stuyvesant saw 1,265.

But New Yorkers shouldn’t worry about a thing. The media reported yesterday that the the New Yorker City Council is proposing warning labels on … sugary food. Yep, that cupcake you’re eying is the real problem, folks.

The New York Post reports:

A bill authored by Councilmember Mark Levine would require chain restaurants to post warning notices next to each food item that contains more than 12 grams of added sugar.

That’s in addition to the postings already on the books for high sodium content and calorie counts.

So, here’s a reminder about those other menu labels. As I wrote exhaustively years ago, they don’t work…at all. In fact, menu labels often encourage people to order higher calorie items. That’s because when people only see calories, they don’t consider other healthy aspects of the meal their eating.

For example, when a consumer sees that a salad has 600 calories and a burger or a couple slices of pizza has 720 calories, naturally, most folks are going to choose the less healthy option.  After all, why would someone eat a salad when something more enjoyable is on the menu for only a few calories more?  Yet, what people aren’t considering is that the salad has a lot more fiber, vitamins, and vital nutrients as well as lower fat content. Menu labels actually drive people to order higher calorie items. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

Also, the idea that people don’t know that sugary foods have higher calories is as paternalistic as it gets. As if people are sitting in a grocery store with ice cream in one hand and a bag of baby carrots in the other questioning which one has more calories.

Clearly, the New York City Council thinks New Yorkers are dumb. Might be time for New Yorkers to put people in office who have a slightly higher opinion of the citizens they represent.



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