NYC suburb passes menu labeling

WHITE PLAINS N.Y. Legislators in Westchester County, N.Y., voted Monday to require local outlets of chains with at least 15 units nationwide to post calorie counts on their menus and menu boards, a move targeted at reducing obesity levels.

The restaurateurs have six months to comply with the new legislation or face fines, according to The Journal News.

The local newspaper reported that legislators had deliberated on the measure for more than a year before passing it Monday in the 15-1 vote.

The approval adds Westchester to join a growing list of municipalities and counties that have passed nutrition disclosure by chain restaurants. New York City, just to the south of Westchester County, was the first. Philadelphia enacted its law last week. Menu labeling also has been signed into law in California, the first state to embrace such a measure.

All would be pre-empted by the Labeling Education and Nutrition, or LEAN, Act now pending in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. That measure is supported by the restaurant industry as a way of avoid a patchwork of laws from coast to coast.