After months of resistance, several big fast-food chains have finally begun obeying a first-of-its-kind New York City rule requiring some restaurants to post calorie counts right on the menu.
Burger King and McDonald's were among the chains that unveiled new menu boards Friday at scores of locations throughout the city, taking calorie info that had long been available on Web sites and tray liners and putting it front and center above the cash register.
The calorie posting rule took effect in May, but legal action delayed enforcement until now. Starting today, chains big enough to fall under the rule will face penalties of up to $2,000 per store for not disclosing calorie info in a prominent spot on their menus, preferably next to the price.
To date, the lack of enforcement had meant haphazard compliance, and it remained unclear Friday how many of the estimated 2,500 covered restaurants would meet the deadline.
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A few chains still appeared to be ignoring the rule, perhaps holding out hope that a court would block the plan, the first of its kind in any U.S. city. An industry lawsuit is pending.
Other restaurants offered calorie info for some items, but not others, raising questions about whether they might still face fines.
The rules are part of an anti-obesity campaign that has included a recent citywide ban on artificial trans fats in restaurants food.
A few restaurants appeared to be caught off guard by the calorie rules, especially the homegrown fast-food chains that pepper New York City's outer boroughs.