Two bits of (potentially) good news to end the week

1. The New York City Board of Health approved a ban on “supersize” sweetened bottled drinks and fountain beverages.

2. McDonald’s announced that they will begin posting calories for each menu item.

These initiatives are interesting because the potential to change people’s behavior toward making healthier choices is great.

New York City has served as a model for restricting smoking and trans fats, so other communities may follow their lead. Of course, there is controversy over what exactly is included in the ban and if these items are necessarily unhealthy. The trans fat ban was effective in reducing the trans fat content of restaurant food, which would be beneficial for people who regularly eat at fast-food and other chain restaurants covered in the ban.  Time will tell if the drink restriction is also effective.

By taking the lead in providing nutrition information to customers, McDonald’s not only improved their own image but also put pressure on other restaurants to do the same. There has long been an argument that people can’t make healthy choices if they don’t have readily available information to rely on. McDonald’s is giving their customers some information to use to make better decisions.

Regardless of what steps communities or restaurants take to help us eat healthier, it is up to us to make smart choices.


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