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City Lawmaker Takes Aim At Carbs With Proposed Restaurant Health Warning

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- First calories, then salt, now more health warnings could be coming to a city restaurant near you.

"I think it's a little bit too much, you know I think people can make their own choices, just like they tried to do with the sodas," John Smallwood said.

He's referencing a bill introduced in the city council on Wednesday, that would require restaurants with seating areas to post a sign with information about the risks of excessive intake of sugars and other carbs for people with diabetes and prediabetes.

"We just want another visual reminder to let people know as you're selecting items from the menu be mindful of what it's doing to your body in the long term," Councilwoman Inez Barron said.

Barron said a staffer diagnosed with pre-diabetes gave her the idea for the measure.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, the staffer hopes the poster's final design will act as a guide to portion sizes.

"This is a tool to really educate people and say 'ok, if I'm going to have something let me look at the amount that I'm gonna have,'" M. Ndigo Washington said.

It's a tough sell to some restaurant owners.

"I think people with certain conditions are well aware of what they can and cannot eat. If I have to I'll put the warning on, but it's just unnecessary," Route 66 owner Kasia Banis said.

The National Restaurant Association agreed.

"A poster on a wall is no way to improve public health," they said.

Some restaurant owners and diners shrugged it off.

"I'm not against that," Joe Crasuolo, Sacco's Pizza said.

"Doesn't hurt to warn people, but people have to be responsible for their own intake," M.J. Tooker said.

"I think it's a great idea. I think people should know what they're putting in their body," David Chacon added.

Some restaurant owners are not opposed to any more signage, they wondered about how effective putting up more signs could really be.

If you want to weigh in about what you want on the poster, there will be public hearings.

The city Department of Health said diabetes is a growing concern in New York City and they are currently reviewing the bill.

The sign would have to be created by the Department of Health, fines would be imposed for restaurants that don't comply.


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