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New York City's New Warning Label Law

New York City residents may soon notice warning labels alongside sugary foods and beverages in chain restaurants and coffee shops, as a new law is poised to take effect later this year.

The legislation mandates that food establishments with 15 or more storefronts display a warning symbol—a black and white spoon filled with sugar—next to menu items containing at least 50 grams of added sugar. Additionally, these businesses must include a written label alongside the icon, stating:

"Warning: indicates that the added sugar content of this item is higher than the total daily recommended limit of added sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet (50 grams). Eating too many added sugars can contribute to type 2 diabetes and weight gain."

The city's health department released the proposed rule language on April 19 and scheduled a public hearing for late May. City officials, including Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, endorsed the law last year. It is slated to take effect on June 19 for prepackaged food items and on December 1 for other items.

In a recent interview with 1010 WINS radio, Adams emphasized the city's responsibility to address health crises proactively, citing sugar as a major contributor to health problems. He reiterated his personal belief in the power of food as medicine, underscoring his commitment to healthy eating habits, despite occasional deviations from a vegan diet.

This initiative marks another step in New York City's efforts to promote public health. Previous measures include former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's requirement for chain restaurants to display calorie counts on menus and his ban on indoor smoking in restaurants and bars. Mayor Bill de Blasio also championed a rule to alert customers to high sodium levels in foods.

However, critics argue that such regulations encroach on personal freedoms, accusing officials of creating a "nanny state."



How has your diet changed over the past few years?


What do you know about your country's dietary guidelines?


What countries do you imagine have the healthiest diets?


If all foods were equally healthy, what would your diet mainly consist of?


Who are the healthiest eaters among your friends and family?


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