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Ontario to target restaurant menus

The health minister is expected to announce nutritional information requirements


The province is expected to introduce legislation on Monday which will require chain restaurants to put nutritional information on menus.

Health Minister Deb Matthews made the announcement for plans to do so last year, but has been vague on when Ontario would act.

The idea was recommended last spring by a panel looking into improving health promotion.

The goal: to give customers information they may not have in order for them to make healthy food choices. The province hopes it will counteract rising obesity numbers, an issue the healthcare system has been struggling with.

Calories counts would have to be places on menus and menu boards.

This would not affect smaller restaurants.

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  1. Will posted on 02/24/2014 11:36 AM
    Oh no, here comes the Nanny State again. What's next? A ban on large sized pop? No salt on tables unless you specifically ask for it? An brownshirt apparatchik at every table waiting to rap your knuckles if you don't choose 'approved' foods?
    1. sam posted on 02/24/2014 11:51 AM
      @Will maybe we should get rid of food inspectors all together also. your side is always bitching about something
    2. Will posted on 02/24/2014 12:09 PM
      @sam Food inspectors are fine when they're inspecting food for quality. Inspecting *us* to make sure we're making the 'right' choices is another matter entirely.
    3. HP posted on 02/24/2014 12:26 PM
      @Will Nothing is getting banned but customers should have the tools to make informed decisions. Not a nanny state, but the first priority of governments is to protect their citizens...this just helps a little bit. Without the lobbyists that pay off the politicians, especially the CRA, salt, fat, and sugar content would (and should) be regulated, not just in QSR's but in all prepared foods.
    4. Will posted on 02/24/2014 01:47 PM
      @HP Well of course nothing is being banned *now*, but if I told you 20 years ago that NYC would ban large pops and force people to ask for salt, you'd probably have laughed at me - either that, or you may have said it was 20 years too late. ;-)

      Once The State takes over health care, you can pretty much dictate any aspect of someone's life on the grounds that it is to protect their heatth and/or reduce the cost of The State providing your care. Thank you Tommy, err, not.
    5. Will posted on 02/24/2014 01:49 PM
      @HP By "Tommy", I of course meant Tommy Douglas, Canada's first communist leader, err, I mean a forerunner of the NDP.
    6. HP posted on 02/24/2014 02:16 PM
      @Will What country do you live in? The state has taken over health care in Ontario and Canada. Those living here call it OHIP.

      The New York case is a good example...the state tried to look after the health of it's citizens and the sugar and QSR lobby shot it down. That happens all the time in America where the politicians are owned by corporate vested interests. Another good example is in our schools where the government took out the empty calories and school cafeteria sales plummeted...kids voted with their wallets, they now go out for junk. Perhaps their parents should have a word with them.

      Other examples of people being told how to live are the doctors who refuse to accept patients who won't quit smoking, alcoholics, and the obese who won't help themselves. Then are those lawsuits against tobacco companies to recover health care costs.

      Yes, people have a right to kill themselves, eat and drink themselves to death, but the government, as their primary health care provider, has the right to educate them and reduce the health care costs for all taxpayers. Really no different than making car liability insurance mandatory, enforcing seat belt laws, and making distracted driving an offense.

      Sometimes people need to be protected from themselves for the good of the majority.

      What's next. you want the government to make machine guns legal? Maybe sell grenades in corner stores?
  2. Frankie posted on 02/24/2014 12:06 PM
    Studies in jurisdictions that have mandated this have shown it doesn't affect eating habits. Just another waste of money and government intrusion by the "thieving" Liberals who will do anything to distract voters from the fact that they are the worst government in Ontario history.
    1. HP posted on 02/24/2014 12:22 PM
      @Frankie Not true, restaurants, especially American QSR's found that customers shifted to healthier alternatives when they knew the calorie and sodium content...that's why you see all these healthier alternatives at the chains here. The chains have been fighting this for years because they learned from their American locations, sales went down, prices went up, then sales went down more when people knew what they were eating.

      Same thing with the soft drinks...Coke and Pepsi have seen a steady decline in pop sales now that people know how to read a label. Only the stupid and poor will continue to eat the bad stuff...the stupid don't care because they get oral instant gratification from fat, salt, and sugar, and the poor can't afford real food, and many don't know how to cook.
    2. Will posted on 02/24/2014 02:09 PM
      @HP It seems to me that ever since the deluge of lawsuits following the "Supersize Me" movie, the Quick Service Restaurants are only offering healthier fare as part of their legal settlements and/or to immunise themselves against future legal action, on the grounds that "We're offering better food, but you can't sue us because our customers aren't choosing it!".

      Naturally, at that point, then the solution to such hypothetical future legal action would be to give into demands to remove "bad" food. Hello former NYC Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg might not be battling substance abuse problems, but at least our Mayor isn't telling people what they can and can't eat!

      Anyway.....Now "lookit", I might be one of the "stupid" people you talk about, but I for one was ticked off at McDonald's during the 90's when they so easily gave in to demands that they prepare their fries differently. Nowadays I won't touch their fries more than 5 minutes out out of the fryer because the damn things turn into cardboard. Thank you once again, Political Correctness.
  3. loretta posted on 02/24/2014 12:13 PM
    Chain restaurants must meet these requirements?? So the smaller restaurants have not assisted in facilitating the obesity problem I this country? No one has developed high blood pressure or high cholesterol from eating at a mom and pop restaurant!!!!
  4. john posted on 02/24/2014 01:11 PM
    nanny state alright . i dont give a shit i if i whant a &%^^$$% hamburger i am going to get a damn hamburger . i want what i paid for DAMMIT !!!!! . i dont give a ^&%%#$%it what my nanny says . this chick needs a dildo to stick up her a@@@ .
    1. Will posted on 02/24/2014 02:14 PM
      @john Well then like my comment already, dangit! :-)

      I'll have to part company with you on the dildo remark (I know you're kidding though, of course, right? ;-) ) and the language, but otherwise you're right on!
    2. john posted on 02/26/2014 01:59 PM
      @Will thats a modified version of a joke form George Carlin R.I.P.
  5. Cynthia posted on 02/24/2014 02:37 PM
    Time would be better spent doing her proper job. Wait times at hospitals, eHealth records, Ornge, etc. If these things are too much for her to handle she should step down. When I go to a restaurant instead of eating at home I am knowledgeable enough to know it probably is not the best.
  6. Frankie posted on 02/24/2014 03:17 PM
    They want it in front of your face as you order at a fast food restaurant. Since they're so concerned about our good health here's another great idea -

    A list of what they've "stolen" and a list of all their mismanagement of our province in front of everyone at polling booths.

    After all, they're so concerned about our health.
  7. Angry Bill posted on 02/24/2014 03:41 PM
    I don't care how "poor" or "stupid" someone might be.. I don't think there is anyone out there who thought this kind of fast food was good for you in the first place. Forcing companies to provide more labels won't suddenly make someone realize "Hey! This stuff isn't good for me... Who knew??!"

    People make bad life decisions all the time, and they laugh at warning labels of any kind. Look at the stuff on cigarette packages. People still smoke. No one thinks smoking is good for you, but they still smoke. No one thinks fast food is good for you, but they still eat it. For whatever reason.

    Make up your minds. Either outlaw the stuff, or leave them alone to sell it. None of this wish-washy in between stuff.
    1. Frankie posted on 02/24/2014 04:05 PM
      @Angry Bill Have to disagree with your comments that people know fast food is bad for them. They might be the same people that keep voting Liberal; they have no idea how bad the Liberals are for us.
    2. john posted on 02/26/2014 02:36 PM
      @Frankie as if voting liberal is not enough for your health
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