Calorie counts are now required at every chain restaurant in America

Kenny Tucker
May 10, 2018

The 2010 health care law's mandate, which had been delayed repeatedly, is finally going into effect.

An Obamacare rule that requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts went into effect Monday.

Big chains such as Starbucks and McDonald's already are in compliance - you'll find a 410-calorie Caffe Mocha or a 550-calorie Big Mac on those menus - but lobbyists for pizza chains and other businesses have dragged out the fight.

Many restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and movie theatres across the United States will now be required to display total calories in all food sold.

All in all, the new laws are created to hopefully give consumers more information in order to help them make better decisions regarding their food intake when they're eating out.

Gottlieb said national menu labeling could make a difference in USA obesity rates.

Consumers who are armed with nutrition information from their fast food place, chain restaurant or retail establishment can thus make informed decisions about the foods they eat for both themselves and for their family.

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"I think there's a lot of consumer shock". Calories are most typically presented after the name of the menu items, but researchers say changing this could change how much we eat.

John Cortinas knows exactly how many calories he's getting.

But he doesn't have to ask at the Chick-fil-A on Tom Hill Senior Boulevard because they started sharing their calorie counts on their menu less than a year ago. She is always looking at nutrition facts for her daughters Gracie and Aubrey and picking healthy options for herself. "It's those well-educated, vocal consumers", she said.

For one thing, even if consumers don't change their orders very much, they still agree the labels should be there. "But over a year, based on that sort of reduction, you could end up consuming 10,000 to 20,000 fewer calories, making you three to five pounds slimmer".

"In considering how and what information to make available, we have taken into account the significant variation in the ways Americans purchase foods - ranging from traditional restaurant menus to the growth in grab-and-go foods at grocery and convenience stores", Gottlieb noted in the statement.

Gottlieb said consumers now eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home. As a result, fast food loyalists and chain restaurant patrons across the country will come face-to-face with the calorie counts for their favorite menu items.

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