The Associated Press

The New York City Board of Health voted yesterday to approve a new version of a law requiring fast-food outlets to display calorie counts on menus, hoping the fat-filled truth will shock New Yorkers into eating healthier.

The regulation, which takes effect March 31, was altered slightly after a judge rejected the city’s first attempt last year.

The new regulation applies to any chain that operates at least 15 separate outlets, including those that don’t currently provide any information on calories. Major fast-food chains make up about 10 percent of the city’s restaurants.

Several chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have the information available but don’t list it on their menu boards.

“We expect that many more cities, counties and states will require menu labeling once they see how easy it is for these chains to list calories on menus,” said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. ”

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But, J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom, called the new law an example of “nanny-state public health policies.”

“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in nutrition, let alone a high school diploma, to tell the difference between a 12-piece bucket of chicken and a salad,” he said.