New York May Require Sugar Warning Labels on Menus

The city measure would apply to chain restaurants’ menu items with over 50 grams of added sugar.

September 15, 2022

NEW YORK—A New York City councilman has introduced a bill that would require New York City chain restaurants to add warning labels next to menu items that have more than 50 grams of added sugar, reports New York 1.

“I think for so many New Yorkers, they’re walking into their favorite store to get a beverage or a meal, they’re going to a live event and they’re getting those really, really big fountain sodas or some other item and they don’t even realize how much sugar is in it,” Keith Powers, the councilman who introduced the bill, told the network. “We’re talking 15, 16 packs of sugar in a large fountain soda. I don’t think many New Yorkers realize how bad it is for your health.”

The bill, called the Sweet Truth Act, has support from some health advocates, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams is open to considering the legislation.

In a statement, Adams said that improving the public health of New York City “is a key priority for the Adams administration. We will review the legislation.”

Similar measures have been passed in New York City. Last year, a law was enacting mandating chain restaurants place sugar warnings on their pre-packaged foods.

In 2008, New York City mandated calorie counts for food items on chain restaurant menus.

Next month in the U.K., legislation will take effect that places limitations on high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products. The law will restrict where impulse sweets and snack foods and beverages can be displayed in shops and how they can be promoted. The rules apply to brick-and-mortar stores larger than 2,000 square feet in size with 50 or more employees, chains or franchises with 50 or more employees and online marketplaces.

The measures are part of the U.K.’s fight against childhood obesity, and retailers can’t stock HFSS items by the checkout or at the end of gondolas. The rules include restrictions on multibuy promotions such as “buy one get one free” or “3 for 2” offers on these products, but those will not be implemented until October 2023.