NYC postpones calorie-posting rule

Was supposed to go in effect Monday
March 28, 2008 5:30:45 AM PDT
Health officials have pushed back a deadline for national chain restaurants to start putting calorie counts on menus in their New York City outlets. The requirement was supposed to take effect Monday, but a restaurant trade group has challenged it in court. The city Health Department said Thursday it was postponing the regulation's start date until April 15 because the court ruling is expected within the first two weeks of next month.

Health officials say the measure will combat obesity by forcing diners to face the caloric consequences of their restaurant orders. But the New York State Restaurant Association says the rule violates the First Amendment by forcing businesses to put what amounts to a message on their menus.

Still, one major chain - Starbucks - says it will meet the original Monday deadline.