NY Grand Jury Aquits Cop In Death Of Unarmed Black Man, The Story Of Black Hawk, Calorie Counts At Chain Restaurants

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Chain restaurants with 20 or more locations will have to begin displaying calorie counts within two years, according to the FDA. We speak with a food policy expert who says that those labels won’t actually change the way Americans eat. Then we track what happened to Eric Garner, an unarmed black man killed by a white NYPD cop, and ask why a New York grand jury declined to indict the police officer. We’ll also explore the life of Black Hawk in Wisconsin.

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  • New FDA Regulations Require Calorie Listings On Menus

    Calorie counts are coming soon to a menu near you.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that chain restaurants with 20 or more stores will be required to put calories next to their main menu items. The rules will also apply to some movie theaters and amusement parks, as well as big-box stores that sell food like Target and Costco.

    The regulations don’t apply to independent restaurants, bars, grocery stores, food trucks or airlines.

    FDA officials have been working on the rules since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act made labels on restaurant food a requirement. Restaurants and stores that the rule applies to will now have one year to comply.

    Marlene Schwartz, director at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, said she thinks people want to be more responsible for what they’re eating, and by posting the number of calories next to food dishes it will lead people to eating healthier.

    “It’s really about consumer information. It’s about providing individuals (with) the information they can use if they want to keep track of their calories. That’s why I think it’s a completely justifiable rule for the government to play,” Schwartz said.

    Schwartz said her own research showed that calorie listings do make a difference, and that people tend to choose lower-calorie food when provided with options. Another recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 60 percent of adults use calorie information on menus to decide what to order.

    However, Schwartz acknowledged that other studies have had mixed results, and that results will probably vary between segment groups. For example, Schwartz said, the labels might do little for teenage boys. For groups that are more health-conscious, like adult women, more significant changes are likely.

    Many dietary experts also predict that the calorie labels will lead restaurants to offer healthier option on their menus.

    “Some restaurants that just tend to have a lot of very large portions and high-calorie dishes, once they have to put the calories on there, I think they’re going to start coming up with some other options,” Schwartz said. “Because they know a segment of their customer base is more health-conscious and is going to come in and look at the calories and think, ‘My goodness.’”

  • Ferguson Again?

    One week after a grand jury in Ferguson Missouri declined to indict the officer who shot unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, another grand jury – this time in Staten Island, New York – declined to pursue charges against a white New York police officer whose chokehold on Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, led to his death. Central Time investigates.

  • Wisconsin Legends: Chief Black Hawk

    The town of Victory, Wisconsin, on the Mississippi River in Vernon County, gets its name from the outcome of the final battle of the Black Hawk War, which took place nearby. Although the Battle of Bad Axe was a defeat for the Sauk tribe, the tribe’s leader, Black Hawk, is given credit for being a clever strategist. We’ll find out about Black Hawk the warrior and Black Hawk the man of peace from Patrick Jung, author of The Black Hawk War of 1832.

  • Will Calorie Counts On Menus Make Us Healthier?

    Like or not, calories counts on the menus of many chain restaurants will be coming soon. But will it change how Americans eat and help them make healthier choices? Our experts weighs the evidence.

Episode Credits

  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Marlene Schwartz Guest
  • David Goodman Guest
  • Patrick J Jung Guest
  • Marika Suval Producer

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