The New York City Department of Health has made two recent proposals. The first is to eliminate trans fats from all NYC restaurants. Second, restaurants would be required to list the number of calories in each meun item clearly on the menu next to each item.
I think these are great ideas. Trans fats are more atherogenic, in other words are more likely to lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. I'm especially excited about listing calorie content of menu items -- I think that even the simplest of consumers would be wary of a menu item with 1,500 calories. Or, those who think they're having a "light dinner" by ordering an appetizer with 2,500 calories might think again.
Last night I was at a dinner with a few interventional cardiology fellows, and we were discussing this topic. One was particularly adamant that Americans could care less about the calorie content of what they're eating and would make no changes based on that information.
I disagree -- I think that with this information, people for the most part would make wiser choices. As a result, restaurants would have to think twice about how they're preparing food and consider changing their menues to include healthier items.