Counting Calories

The House passed a bill requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus. I don’t really have anything to say about this bill, except that if it passes the Senate and is signed by the governor, there will then be another piece of helpful health information that 99.9% of people will gladly ignore.

Flood of Bills at End of Session

According to Ken Dixon, there were 223 bills on the House calendar yesterday.

Today’s calendar is also a little full, as you can see.

How can there possibly be time for all of them? In fact, according to the list of bills passed, only a handful actually were passed yesterday. Among them:

H.B. 6320, which implements recommendations of the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee concerning substance abuse treatment for adults (passed yesterday by the Senate, already passed by the House).

H.B. 6486, which basically seeks federal funding and implements programs for noncustodial fathers (passed by House, not acted upon by the Senate yet).

H.B. 6545, which allows managers employed by the state and legislative Branch employees of the Capitol Police to bargain collectively (passed by House, not acted upon by the Senate yet).

H.B. 6635, which promotes the use of solar power in Connecticut (passed by House, not acted upon by the Senate yet).

S.B. 325, which allows the state to disclose information about pharmacists who mess up and are disciplined by the Pharmacy Commission (passed by the House, passed earlier by the Senate).

S.B. 735, which would require a minimum of 1% of the total highway/road funds received in a fiscal year by DOT and any municipality to be spent on pedestrian and bike routes (passed by House, passed earlier by the Senate).

There are many others. Just head to this page and search for “06/01” to see what happened yesterday.

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21 responses to “Counting Calories

  1. The House passed a bill requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus.

    Don’t they all offer that information now?

  2. Anybody know what happened to the paid sick days bill that was passed in the house?

  3. Anybody know what happened to the paid sick days bill that was passed in the house?

    Good question. It’s on the Senate calendar for today, along with about 8,000,000 other bills. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pass that chamber today or tomorrow, though, since there’s been such a push for it.

  4. ModerateDem08

    Paid sick days may not be called since it is deadlocked 18-18, but there is a lot of pressure to flip one of the Dem senators. Plus it is a talker.

  5. Paid sick days may not be called since it is deadlocked 18-18, but there is a lot of pressure to flip one of the Dem senators. Plus it is a talker.

    Thanks MD.
    I’m against the bill so I am thankful that Don Williams is ineffective and can’t line up his votes like Donovan.

  6. CrankyYankee71

    I am glad they are focusing on the really important stuff. Did I hear something about them not yet passing a budget?

  7. Clickety_Clak

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing…the fact that the Legislature has been derelict in their duty to pass a budget, or the fact that the bills they HAVE passed saddle CT’s job-creating businesses with more and more mandates. Even more disturbing is the apparent lack of thoroughness with which the proponents of these legislative stinkers have researched their issues:

  8. The calorie bill, simply put, is among the dumbest bills ever passed. And that’s saying something.

    The advocates probably went home last night thinking they’d actually saved lives! Mua ha ha ha ha!

    You can’t legislate people out of obesity. People need to take some personal responsibility and get their fat asses on a treadmill.

    Which brings me to an intersecting point. If we are going to pay for healthcare by opening up the state program to all these new people, I think there should be regulations against people who are fat or are smokers. Why should healthy active people assume the risk and costs for indolent fatsos?

    If you are on a state-paid health plan and you reach 300 lbs. you should be required to go to a boot camp to work the cottage cheese off your ass so the rest of us don’t have to pay for your eventual triple bypass.

  9. If you are on a state-paid health plan and you reach 300 lbs. you should be required to go to a boot camp to work the cottage cheese off your ass so the rest of us don’t have to pay for your eventual triple bypass.

    Better yet, we should ban participants from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs, and hold semi-annual physical fitness examinations — just like the nation’s largest provider of Socialized medicine, the Department of Defense.

  10. The calorie bill, simply put, is among the dumbest bills ever passed. And that’s saying something.

    My pet peeve: people that don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Is calorie posting, in and of itself, going to save lives? No. Is it going to provide people with information they need (but may not always want) about the food they’re eating and offer them an additional opportunity to make choices about what they’re putting into their body? Absolutely.

    There are more important issues– even public health issues– that they legislature can and should take up. But this is a topic that the Public Health Committee has worked on for several years and this year it happened to make it through the process. There were maybe a half dozen or so legislators that made this happen. It in no way distracted those leaders involved in the budget negotiation process from doing the job that they weren’t going to do anyway.

    Finally, HH, your comments about overweight people are bigoted and perpetuate the notion that all people who are ‘fat’ are lazy and socially irresponsible to a level verging on immorality. There are tons of factors that lead to obesity. One is, indeed, exercise. Another is dietary choices. This bill helps people with those choices at the expense of large corporations who, quite frankly, owe the public a little bit in the way of preserving health. McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts aren’t staging any layoffs because they now have to tell you that their food is rotten for you. Get a clue…

  11. Dempsey Dem

    I am glad they are focusing on the really important stuff. Did I hear something about them not yet passing a budget?

    Actually, I think over the weekend they did authorize and set a date for a special session. When I counted yesterday, there were around 250 (Counting those at the foot of the calendar – sort of a polite way of saying ‘your dead’) in the house; and another 225+ on the Senate Calendar. Add to those, those bills passed which have to be forwarded to the other house for their vote.

    Unless they put bills wholesale on the consent calendar (Passing bills in bulk, and by agreement of both parties), There’s gonna be a lot of roadkill on the Legislative floor Thursday morning.

  12. Better yet, we should ban participants from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs, and hold semi-annual physical fitness examinations — just like the nation’s largest provider of Socialized medicine, the Department of Defense.

    One person gets it.

    Another… not so much. 😉

  13. There are tons of factors that lead to obesity.

    Smoking is a leader in the area of weight-gain avoidance, *and* indicates the smoker cares about the children.

    (Non smokers apparently wish them all suffering or worse – the Cads!)

    Want to stay thin?
    Want to help the children?
    Don’t want to come down with Alzheimer’s disease?

    Smoke `em if you’ve got `em – otherwise, why not go out and buy a pack right now?
    You’ll be helping the economy and doing the right thing for the children too!

    Remember, most of today’s delicious tobacco products are low-cal and contain no added sugar!

    Cigarettes too proletariat for you?
    No problem, enjoy a good cigar!
    One a day is all we ask.

  14. There are tons of factors that lead to obesity.

    Indeed.

    Soda. French fries. Cheeseburgers. Funions. Cheesecake. Pizza. The list is endless.

  15. famillionaire

    Finally, HH, your comments about overweight people are bigoted and perpetuate the notion that all people who are ‘fat’ are lazy and socially irresponsible to a level verging on immorality. There are tons of factors that lead to obesity. One is, indeed, exercise. Another is dietary choices. This bill helps people with those choices at the expense of large corporations who, quite frankly, owe the public a little bit in the way of preserving health. McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts aren’t staging any layoffs because they now have to tell you that their food is rotten for you. Get a clue…

    Personal responsibility is indeed a Democratic value. Yes, there are people who have ‘glandular problems,’ or other health issues that make it more difficult for them to stay healthy, but that just means they have to work a little harder at it. NEWS FLASH – Fast food is not healthy!! Hey dummy, putting a half a bottle of dressing on a salad is bad for you! Hon.estly, it sounds like government telling us we are all stupid and can’t figure these things out on our own

    More consumer information is great, don’t get me wrong, but your argument defending obese people like its the new civil right movement is ridiculous!

  16. This was emailed to me….

    ‘What does Fontana know’ — should be ‘Fontana knows nothing’

    No wonder why we are in the situation we are in if this guy is a ‘leader.’

  17. BristolDem

    Famillionaire, I respect your POV because you are capable of seeing that it’s not as simple as “everyone who is fat is that way because of their own decisions, and there is no possibility that any of them are that way because of circumstances outside their control.” AKA, HH’s viewpoint.

    There’s also something deliciously ironic about a chain-smoker trying to tell everyone else what is and isn’t healthy (pun intended).

  18. I think I’m ok with the calories , although I think that having brochures available is probably just as fine as mandating that the menus themselves have the information. I wonder if chain restaurants now have to produce separate menus just for Connecticut. Does Red Lobster now need special menus for CT? Also, why just chain restaurants? Do Calories not matter if you are at a diner?

    Most chains seem to have calories posted, as well as other things like saturated fat. Subway puts the info on their napkins for their healthier sandwiches (but not for their unhealthy ones: for thise, you need to get the brochure).

    If you are trying to live healthy, it’s good to know how many calories you are consuming. Often times, your intuition isn’t great. Sure, everyone knows that a Whopper is not healthy, but even some of the fast food chain salads are loaded with fat and calories. In order to live healthily, you need information, and your guesses about what’s healthy isn’t always so. Even Subway has very unhealthy sandwiches. The 12 inch chicken and bacon ranch has 1,160 calories, plus more if you get cheese on that. The spicy Italian footlong has 1,060 calories.

    However, it’d still be nice if the legislature worked on the budget than this stuff…

  19. The House passed a bill requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus. I don’t really have anything to say about this bill, except that if it passes the Senate and is signed by the governor, there will then be another piece of helpful health information that 99.9% of people will gladly ignore.

    The bill passed the Senate already a week or two ago. It’s now up to the governor…

    I think I’m ok with the calories , although I think that having brochures available is probably just as fine as mandating that the menus themselves have the information. I wonder if chain restaurants now have to produce separate menus just for Connecticut. Does Red Lobster now need special menus for CT? Also, why just chain restaurants? Do Calories not matter if you are at a diner?

    A number of states already have identical laws, so these chain restaurants already have the menus made up. They don’t need special menus just for our state, because these menus already exist.

    My understanding is that the chain restaurants weren’t really even protesting this bill — all they were asking was that if a bill like this is passed, then they want it to be similar to the law that other states have already so that everything is uniform, and this one I believe is.

    For example, New York already has this law. Here are photos of the menus at a few chain restaurants in NY:

    http://www.cspinet.org/menulabeling/boards.html

  20. As a recent convert to the calorie-counting legions, I have to applaud the calorie bill. Here’s why:

    My job often takes me on the road for several days at a time (as I type this, I can see lovely Boothbay Harbor from my window, down east in the Great State of Maine). When I stop to eat at a chain restaurant, there are some easy ways to tell if the food is good for you or not (garden salad – good; chicken wings – not good).

    But having a menu with total caloric counts for entire entrees would be a big help when ordering the plank salmon, the grilled chicken, or the shrimp stir-fry.

    Besides that, it’s a fairly innocuous bill that won’t cost the chains a lot of money to implement, and will bring the notion of calorie counting into people’s awareness, who otherwise might not have a second thought about ordering the chicken wings. It’s their choice at that point. And I’m Pro-choice, across the board.

    It might not save their lives, but at least they’ll feel terribly guilty about ordering those wings! (hee-hee!)

  21. My 55 year old brother-in-law has diabetes and has since he was 8 or 9; he self-injects insulin several times daily.

    He watches everything he eats (and the clock), like a hawk and is in better shape than most men in the early 30’s

    A Courant sports writer he travels.

    Virtually every chain operation already has a brochure available.

    I’m not sure the law is necessary, however one mandating that such brochures be in stock and readily available might have been.

    There are however several other issues involving health insurance and new technologies impacting diabetics that could have been addressed by the legislature but weren’t.

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