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NJ Consumers Face Delay In Calorie Info On Menus [AUDIO]

How many calories are in that BLT sandwich you’re thinking about for lunch?

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Two years ago it became law in New Jersey to list calorie counts on chain restaurant menus. Federal guidelines could now push that requirement back to 2014.

Although it was signed in 2010, menu labeling may not begin in the state for two more years under federal legislation in the Affordable Health Care Act.

“I feel like we have lost valuable time in getting calorie information out to New Jersey consumers” said Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) who sponsored the bill.

She said she was shocked when after the legislation was signed into law, she walked into a fast-food restaurant and saw that calorie counts were not posted on their menus.

“I immediately got into contact with Governor Christie’s office and they said they wanted to wait for a federal FDA proposal on chain calorie counts, and now the federal government is asking states to wait for its rules so there is a more uniform law among the states.”

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The New Jersey Restaurant Association also agrees with waiting for the federal mandate so there is a more consistent law nationwide.

“This is about helping families make smarter decisions when they are out to eat” said Wagner. “We can’t force people to eat healthier, but if they know what is in the meal they are about to order, it may help them think twice about choosing the higher-calorie meal.”

Philadelphia and New York City restaurant chains already require calorie information on their menus.

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