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King, Welch Propose Nutrition Ordinance

An ordinance before the Louisville Metro Council would require restaurants to post nutrition information on their menus.Council President Jim King, D-10, and Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, are sponsoring the bill.It requires businesses that have caloric and other nutrition information available to post that information on their menus or on a menu board located in the restaurant. The ordinance would only apply to businesses that have the information available.Welch is chairwoman of the health, education and housing committee. She says the law will give residents the needed information to make better choices."I want consumers to be able to choose what they’re eating and putting into their bodies. I think they deserve to know what they’re purchasing. So many people are health conscious now about what they’re eating," she says.Many cities have similar laws, and others are going even farther to raise health standards.In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed for a city law to ban large soda drinks in containers that are 16 ounces or more. Vocal critics have come out against the so-called "Big Gulp Ban" as violating personal freedom and hurting small businesses.Welch says she doesn't favor that sort of legislation in Louisville, and that there has been no push back against the nutrition ordinance form local restaurants thus far."You may think a small hamburger is better for you than a big grilled chicken sandwich. And when you look at the caloric and the fat contents, you could have a bigger portion of something with less fat," she says. "Consumers deserve to know what it is that they’re eating and be able to choose what they want to eat."The ordinance will be introduced in committee Wednesday. If passed, restaurants found in violation of the ordinance would be subject to a $25 fine.