Calories, Carb Counts Coming to Philadelphia Menus

Another city will now require chain restaurants to post nutrition information about the food items they sell on menus and menu boards. This time, it’s Philadelphia, and the new requirements there will go beyond those in place in New York City and California; not only will calorie counts have to be posted on menu boards, but saturated and trans fat, sodium, and carbohydrates will have to be be disclosed along with calorie counts on printed menus.


The Philadelphia City Council passed the new ordinance on Thursday, and it is set to take effect on January 1, 2010. The requirements will apply to restaurants with more than 15 outlets, including upscale restaurants, fast-food restaurants, and convenience stores that serve prepared food.

For my coverage of similar measures passed in California and New York City, see the blog entries “California Chain Restaurants Will List Calories” and “Nation’s First Trans Fat Ban Approved”.

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  • Calgarydiabetic

    Dear Tara.

    If this is “Communism”(in the broader Reaganian definition which included the Beach Boys) we need more. I have just finished a phone call to a colleague of mine at my former Research Institue in Montreal. He is in his late fourties or early fifties, never smoked and became recently only moderately overweight only about 10 pounds. He exercised more than the Average American.

    Well he has just had a massive coronary and had to have electroshock to jump start his heart and subsequently had an agioplastie with stents and may need a pacemaker. This was done promptly and is covered by universal health care. Still he said it was an extremely stressful experience but the worry of going bankrupt was not part of the stress.

    He was telling me about his conversation with his “Dieticienne” sorry for the French. She said the usual about too many calories, saturated fats, cholesterol. But what she about sodium was a shocker. She said that more than a small amount per day is as bad as smoking because it hardened the arteries. I had a drink of Clamato juice yesterday maybe about 10 ounces which contained 50% of my daily allowance of sodium. This is a disaster since a lot of my favorite “diabetic friendly” prepared foods: sardines, pickeled herring, very lean ham contain prodigious amounts of salt and probably should be taboo. Any thoughts?

    Uncle Greenspan said in his final words: “that he never expected the CEOs to not behave in the best interests of the shareholders”. You wonder on which planet he spent his life. Paulsen’s 200 million dollars bonus at Goldman Sachs (shares down from $250 to $80) and the current bailout that guaranties unimaginable bonuses even for atrocious performance, clearly show that the only motivation of CEOs is personal greed. Are we totally stupid when we expect the food companies to not sell us toxic food? Is it reasonable to expect that they will behave in our best interest by their own free will? The Neo-Cons say we are free to buy or not buy prepared foods, is this a fair argument if nearly all prepared foods containt excessive sodium? How do we regulate all the crooks out there without employing 50% of the US workforce as bureaucrats in a mega government? Your thoughts would be appreciated?

  • Tara Dairman, Web Editor


    You raise some good points. You, and anyone else interested in the sodium issue may want to check out Amy Campbell’s series on sodium and its effects on health: “Shaking the Salt (Part 1), “ “Part 2, “ “Part 3, “ and “Part 4.”

    Here’s an excerpt from Part 2:

    “It’s very possible that the FDA will begin to crack down on how much sodium can be added to processed foods. If medical expert testimony can convince the FDA to “shake the salt,” so to speak, with statistics such as “reducing sodium intake by 50% could save 150,000 lives annually,” we may be seeing a drop in the sodium content of processed and packaged foods.”

  • CalgaryDiabetic

    Dear Tara.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Everyone should re-read the “Shaking the salt” blogs. Yes it does appear that canned soups and most other prepared foods are toxic. You wonder about cheese like some kaft products have no fat but a prodigious amount of salt.

    I have been using Potassium Chloride substitute in very very small amounts since bananas have been pronounced diabetic unfriendly. But Potassium is also toxic if in excess and the interaction with ace inhibitor is to be worried about.

    I am confused why cities are having to legislate in an attempt to make food safer. Is not the physiology of American Citizens more or less the same regardless of which city they live?