Calorie Disclosures May Hit Menus Nationwide

"I think that people will be affected by it but only in that middle-brow, fast-food range -- chicken Caesar salads and wraps or whatever. This is going to be doomsday for the wrap."

Ozersky also says to beware the "sucker salads." The Pecan Encrusted Chicken Salad at T.G.I. Friday's has 1,360 calories, for instance.

"Pecans seem healthy," he said. "They're nuts. Chicken is skinless, there are greens. It's colorful and healthy, yeah, but it's almost as many calories as three Big Macs."

As for whether restaurants are trying to mislead customers by not being more forthcoming about calorie counts, Ozersky said, "I don't think they want to keep it a secret. It's like if your boyfriend asked you have you been in love before, how many guys have you been with? You would tell him, but you wouldn't maybe volunteer it at an inopportune moment. Sitting down to order in culinary terms is like going in for the first kiss."

'Forbidden Fruit' Mentality

Some critics worry it could actually backfire by adding a "forbidden fruit" allure to high-calorie foods.

Elsewhere, San Francisco and Seattle have followed the Big Apple's lead and pending federal legislation, means the whole country may soon follow suit.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is one of the bill's chief backers, even as some people question whether Washington should have its hands in people's dinners.

"The menu-labeling agreement reached this week will not only help consumers to make informed decisions about their health when eating out, but is a critical part of a broader re-orientation to a society of prevention and health promotion," Harkin said in a written statement earlier today.

The menu law may be included as part of Sen. Ted Kennedy's health care reform proposal, expected to be debated in Congress in the next few weeks.

Ozersky is among those with mixed feelings about the bill.

"It doesn't make my life better, I have a freakish existence," he said. "But I'd say it probably makes for a better society."

Personally, "I'm immune to cardiac disease," Ozersky said, salting his 28-ounce porterhouse steak.

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