After all the kooky fad diets that have had Americans first swearing off meat, then consuming nothing but, it’s interesting to read that city governments are coming back around to good, old-fashioned calorie counting. At least if you’re a major restaurant chain.

Here are the nut grafs from the New York Times‘ piece this morning in the Dining & Wine section:

New Yorkers got a harsh dose of calorie reality this summer when restaurants with 15 or more outlets were forced to post the calorie content of food next to the price. The resulting sticker shock has brought parts of a great city to its knees, often to do push-ups.

The campaign has inspired lawmakers around the country to follow New York’s lead.

The story goes on to detail a number of chains that have had to scramble to either make their recipes healthier or to decrease portion sizes. I’m sorry, but I’m siding with the cities and consumers on this one, not the hospitality biz, which has preyed for years on Americans’ (willing) ignorance of calorie counts. A slap of cold, hard calorie facts is the solution to wake us from our dietary slumber. After all, the fine print to every fad diet always includes some language that confesses the program must be accompanied with regular exercise. It’s essentially an admission that you need to burn off some goddamn calories. This isn’t complicated.

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson has introduced a bill (PDF) that would “require restaurants, which are part of a chain having 10 or more locations nationally, to provide nutritional information for standard menu items sold.” Loose Lips tells me the bill is going nowhere. I smell deep-pocket corporate money at work.