New York City recently passed a controversial rule requiring that any restaurant chain with more than 15 locations nationwide.

The New York State Restaurant Association appealed but Judge Richard J. Holwell of United States District Court in Manhattan rejected the group's claim that the rule violated restaurants' first amendment rights.

In his ruling, Holwell mentioned the obesity epidemic sweeping across the country and said that the posted calorie counts might induce some diners to reconsider their choices and that "these choices will lead to a lower incidence of obesity."

Seems reasonable. And obvious. It's a shame that the New York State Restaurant Association is looking to prevent consumers from having increased access to nutritional information. Giving consumers more information so they can make an informed decision is always a good thing to do.

And the restaurants probably don't have much to worry about. The 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act that required packaged food manufacturers to provide detailed nutritional information was met with similar outrage. Now it's an accepted part of the law, and Americans have continued to get fatter.

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