Menus would be far less of a battleground between business and social interests if it weren’t for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the vocal advocacy group that’s weighed in on virtually every health-related menu issue of the past 25 years. The Luca Brasi of the organization is Wootan, who’s been railing against unhealthy menu practices on CSPI’s behalf for more than 26 years. She’s either pushed back on practices that are deemed detrimental to the public’s well-being, such as salting restaurant meals according to taste rather than health considerations, or called loudly for more social obligations.
And she’s still atop the soapbox. In late February, Wootan championed a New York City requirement that restaurant dishes packing too much sugar be flagged on menus with a warning. Simultaneously, she endorsed a separate Big Apple initiative that prohibits quick-service chains from automatically including a sugary beverage in their kids meals.
“The Center for Science in the Public Interest strongly supports the efforts of the New York City Council to improve the health of adults and children who live in or visit New York,” Wootan said in a statement. It wasn’t her first in that vein. And it will not likely be her last.