Expect to see calorie count info in many more restaurants from today

Mae Love
May 8, 2018

WASHINGTON - +An Obama-era rule requiring thousands of USA restaurants, stores and movie theaters to post nutritional information for items on their menus kicked in Monday, reminding Americans they are what they eat.

Showing total calories in food can make consumers more conscious of their health.

Many major restaurant chains like McDonald's and Taco Bell are already complying with the rule, but the federal government will now require it. Some states, like California and major cities like NY have already passed laws requiring the labeling changes.

Many bigger food chains have already been practicing this, such as Starbucks and Panera, but now, there is hope that this new policy will have a real effect on improving American nutrition.

Overall, they found that approximately 60 percent of participants in their study noticed the calorie menu labels, but only 16 percent reported using the labels to determine food and beverage choices. "The idea of having some basic regulation to create a level playing field, uniform disclosure of basic information on labels, is actually a pro-market concept".

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Americans consume one-third of their calories away from home and proponents of the rule, more than 15 years in the making, say it gives people information to make healthier dietary choices.

The FDA said it will be working with restaurants over the next year to help change their menus.

Domino's Pizza spokesman Tim McIntyre says his company has concerns about how its franchises will meet these requirements but is confident the changes won't increase prices for consumers. The menu labeling rule also provides specific type size, color, and contrast requirements for calorie declarations.

In addition, it is important that we not return to the piecemeal approach from years past. The FDA has put out thousands of pages of guidance to help restaurants and other food providers comply with the law, such as helping grocery stores decide where to put information on salad bars. "I used to go to McDonald's time to time to order an Egg McMuffin, but now I go for the Egg White Delight".

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