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Mixed Reaction To Quinn’s Demand For Nutrition Rules For Restaurant Kids’ Meals

Plan Calls For Restrictions To Sodium, Calorie And Fat Content
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (file/credit: CBS 2)

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (file/credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn opposed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on 16-ounce sodas, but now she, herself, has called for a ban on unhealthy food for children.

As 1010 WINS’ John Montone reported, Quinn on Monday proposed a legislation that would forbid chain restaurants from serving meals to children with excess calories, fat and sodium.

The restrictions would allow for no more than 650 calories, 7.2 grams of saturated fat, and 740 milligrams of sodium per meal, according to published reports.

Currently, many chain restaurants serve meals to children with far higher values in all those categories. A grilled cheese and fries meal has 1,210 calories and 2,340 milligrams of sodium, while a cheeseburger meal with fries at Outback Steakhouse has 23 grams of saturated fat, according to Quinn’s office as quoted by the New York Daily News.

Some New Yorkers called Quinn’s proposal a nanny-state policy.

“I have three kids of my own, and I take control over what they eat on my own,” said one man. “It doesn’t mean we need to be under dictatorship, being told everything to do, what to do, when.”

“I don’t like the big brother programs,” another man said. “They’re telling you what to do, what to eat, what to drink.”

But a third man, Mike, said government needs to step in because parents are failing to do so.

“The upside – health comes first,” he said.

He said parents are killing kids with the threat of obesity and diabetes as they allow children to eat sweets and fast foods.

Bloomberg, whom Quinn hopes to succeed as mayor, has become known for his public health regulation proposals.

Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized sugary drinks was halted by a judge in March. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling said the restrictions were both “capricious” and “arbitrary” because they only applied to some sugary drinks and certain places that sell them.

Bloomberg has also asked restaurants and packaged food companies to reduce the sodium in their products. The city estimates that about 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium.

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