Wagner: McDonald’s Pending Display of Calorie Information a Win for Health Conscious Consumers; Highlights NJ’s Failure to Implement Existing Law

(PARAMUS) — Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), the sponsor of New Jersey’s unimplemented law requiring calorie information to be clearly posted on restaurant and fast food chain menus, issued the following statement Thursday, after fast food giant McDonald’s announced that they would begin voluntarily displaying calorie information in 14,000 U.S. restaurants beginning next week:

“McDonald’s should be commended for adjusting its corporate philosophy to include calorie information on all of its menu items. When a consumer realizes how many calories that Big Mac or large fries actually contain, it may help them to make healthier choices, which, in turn, will help combat the obesity epidemic facing our country.

“While McDonald’s action is unequivocally good news for consumers, it strikes a bittersweet note here in New Jersey, where a similar law requiring chain restaurants to list calorie information has languished for over a year due to inaction from the Christie administration.

“With more than a third of adults and over ten percent of children in America considered obese, it’s unfortunate that New Jersey has missed an opportunity to lead on such an important public health issue.”

The New Jersey law that Wagner sponsored (formerly A-4236) requires chain restaurants operating in the state to list the caloric information of food and beverage options on their menus in was signed in January 2010 and officially went into effect on January 17, 2011. To date, DHSS has failed to provide the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the law, despite numerous requests from Wagner and other sponsors.