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Calorie Count Blog

What to Expect From Calories on the Menu


By +Elisa Zied on Mar 10, 2011 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

It’s no surprise that given our hectic schedules and on-the-go lifestyles, eating out has become a popular pastime. We currently spend about half of our food dollars—more than ever before—on foods and beverages from restaurants, retail stores, recreational places, and schools.

Although eating out is certainly not something we should have guilt over, studies do suggest that the more we do it, the more calories we’re likely to consume. And of course more calories in can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and negative health and other effects.

Truth in Menu Labeling

One initiative designed to fight obesity by helping consumers make lower calorie choices when eating out is menu labeling. Spearheaded in 2003 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and supported by dozens of health and consumer groups including the American Dietetic Association and the American Medical Association, menu labeling was first passed in New York City in 2008 (several cities across the nation followed with similar measures.) In March 2010, the national health care reform bill, which included a menu labeling provision, was passed. By the end of March 2011, the FDA is expected to launch final menu labeling regulations that will trump local laws.
 
The new menu labeling legislation requires chain restaurants with at least 20 outlets nationwide to provide point-of-purchase calorie information to consumers. If requested, other nutrition information (for example, total fat, sodium, and sugars) and a short statement about how many calories the average person needs must also be provided in writing. Vending machines with 20 or more locations are also required by law to post calorie information. 

Will the New Law Help?
 
Will knowing how many calories foods and beverages contain really lead consumers to purchase fewer calories? If so, will that help them lower their overall calorie intake?  Unfortunately, few real-world studies have been done to show if and how calorie posting affects intake. Of those studies, some have shown modest reductions in calories purchased, while others have shown no beneficial effects.

Maybe Yes

  • In an unpublished study by researchers from Stanford University, more than 100 million Starbucks receipts were collected in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia 3 months prior to, and 10 months after calorie posting was initiated. After calorie posting, consumers purchased an average of 6 percent fewer calories (almost all from food purchases.) Those who purchased more than 250 calories prior to calorie posting reduced calorie purchases by 26 percent after calorie posting. The researchers concluded that calorie information helped consumers eat less.   

  • A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in December 2010 assessed consumer awareness of menu calorie information at 45 restaurants from the 15 largest fast food chains in New York City before and after calorie posting. 1188 surveys were collected before enforcement, and 1229 surveys collected after enforcement. 25 percent of customers before the enforcement, and 64 percent of customers after enforcement reported they saw calorie information. The researchers concluded that posting calorie information did increase awareness.

Maybe No

  • In a recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity in February 2011, researchers collected receipts and surveys from 427 parents and teens at fast food restaurants before and after mandatory labeling began in New York City in 2008. They found that knowing calorie information did not affect purchasing behavior of teens or purchases made by parents for their children. Although the teens reported noticing calorie information at the same rate as adults, fewer of them (only 9 percent) said they used the information to purchase fewer calories compared with 28 percent of adults.    
  • Another study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in January 2011 found no change in either total number of sales, or in number of calories per transaction 13 months after menu labeling was initiated at Taco Time in King County, Washington. The researchers concluded that mandatory menu labeling was unlikely to significantly influence the obesity epidemic.

Only time will tell if menu labeling will be an effective tool to help consumers curb overall calorie intake. Mandatory menu labeling may also encourage restaurants to offer smaller portions (that provide fewer calories), and create more healthful, lower calorie selections that can appeal to calorie conscious consumers.


Your thoughts…

Are you for, against, or somewhere in between when it comes to menu labeling?


Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and award-winning author of "Nutrition At Your Fingertips," "Feed Your Family Right!," and "So What Can I Eat?!." She is also a past national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. For more information, go to www.elisazied.com. Sign up for free weekly
ZIED GUIDE™ newsletter for nutrition tips and news you can use (go to right side of home page at elisazied.com).  Follow Elisa on Twitter/elisazied and on Facebook.



Comments


It would be great if we could see at a glance the calorie count of every thing on a menu, it would make eating out less of a challenge Probably would mean I ate out more, as now I dont feel in control of the caloric content, unless I have cooked it myself.



Menu labeling is another great tool.  In my house, I have a circular saw, drill, measuring tape, hammer, sand paper, steel wool, saws...and more...but those tools are more for display than actual use. 

That is the problem with tools.  They make the job easier, if you use them, but if you are not going to use them...

Being informed is always better for the consumer.  But if the consumer chooses not to use that information, then it is their choice.  I just wish every food establishment would post this information, not just chains.



I joined Weight Watchers the first time when I was 18 years old... I am now 54 so I have been spending my life trying to figure out how to lose weight.  It is really difficult to wade through all the information we have at our disposal so I decided to stick to the basics.  I live in Canada so I got myself a paper copy of Canada's Food Guide which is known in the U.S. as a Food Pyramid.  I was really surprised to find out that a woman of my age should eat only two protein (known as Meat and Alternatives) servings per day.  One serving would be:  2.5 ounces of meat (any meat or fish); 2 eggs; 2 tbsps. nut butter; 3/4 cup of tofu; 3/4 cup of legumes.  It recommends 7 servings of fruits and/or vegetables (same category); 6 servings of grains; 3 servings of Milk and Alternatives.  I enjoy this approach and it works for me.  It gives me guidance, confidence in my choices, flexibility so that I can enjoy the choices I have made knowing that I have made them from a position of being informed.  It recommends two to three tablespoons of fat so I try to stay at the low end of that suggestion.  I feel really good eating this way too and I see the numbers on the scale coming down.  I also take into consideration the recommendation to not eat anything "white" so I choose whole grains and I don't use sugar.  I really like it.



I recently read an article which reported that calorie info does influence consumer purchases, as demonstrated at the NYC chain Le Pain Quotidienne.  Prior to posting nutrition info, their most popular choice was a calorie-laden chicken and mozarella sandwich.  After their menu included calorie info, that item was supplanted by a smoked salmon item which had half the calories.  Knowledge is power.  I personally am much more likely to dine out at a place which supplies nutritional info, either on their menu or their website or both.



I live in New York, where they are starting to post the calories on menus.  I think it is great.  A restaurant may list an item on it's menu and you look at this item and based on previous knowledge, you think that is not a high calorie item, but you never know everything that is put in, so you really can't make an informed decision.  Now that I can see these calories, it's an eye opener.  There are items on these menus that are 1200 and higher.  This is for 1 item, 1 meal, not the drink, bread, dessert or appetiser, 1 item.  Based on weight, height, age of individuals, this amount, for 1 item, could be almost the entire day recommended calorie intake.  Knowing helps make it easier to decide for yourself.  Don't get me wrong, I love to go out to eat, it is just nice to know.



I think at this point it ludicrous not to demand the nutritional information on the food being served especially at fast food restaurants which are notorious for using processed unhealthy ingredients with insane amounts of sugar, fats and cholesterol. Our country is in a health crisis with 1/3 of the children looking at having diabetes and 1/2 if they are black. The insanity of this is that a billion people are starving right now and today while we stuff ourselves with gross unhealthy food and bring about another kind of death with over indulgance.



Calories are all well and good...  but I would love it if all restaurants were required to have full nutrition panels for all their food.  I want to know about protein, fat, sodium, etc.

I like to know what's in my food.  Mostly, once I actually see the nutritional information, and see how much sodium restaurants have in their food, I opt to go home and cook something myself.

BUT!  In the event that I have to eat out, being able to pick the most nutritionally sound option would be nice.



I love the idea of all food places having nutritional info posted!  I know it influences my choices!    I too want to know about the protein and sodium and all that...not just the calories and fat....I want to know everything!  :) 



I don't care whether it helps in general or not.  Those who don't care about calories aren't going to read the information, anyway, but it's great for those of us who do care.



I think it would help me in choosing something on the menu for sure! Sometimes I just don't know and opt for soup and salad or something else not worth going out for. I can then calculate and judge for myself, "Sure, I'll go over a few hundred calories today." or whatever.

Also, then I probably won't feel over bloated from eating too much sodium and curse going out ever again...



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I can only speak for myself but I find the menu labeling helpful.  It is very easy to underestimate the calories in a restaurant meal.  With the truth right in front of my face I find I am making healthier choices.  I pause before ordering the cheeseburger and fries and ask myself do I really want to spend my calorie budget here?  In fact I hardly ever go to a fast food chain anymore because I know there's little on the menu I can feel good about eating.  Instead I go to places where I know there are healthier options.



My worry is also how it will impact those who have eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia -- having the calories that in-their-face could make them even more paranoid about how many calories they're taking in. One of my friends in NYC is recovering from anorexia, and she says she gets crazy when she has to see how many calories are in even a fast-food salad and can't stand going with her friends to such places because she's working so hard to gain weight but just can't stomach the thought of going over a certain (too-low) calorie amount. 

It might be better to do what some restaurants here in Israel are doing -- having paper menus at the check-out or at every table that have the calorie amounts, but the primary menu (the one on the wall or given to you by the waiter) doesn't have the calorie amounts. That way, people who would really rather prefer not to see the calorie amounts (like my friend who hates the anxiety of being on a date and having to try to ignore the calorie amounts in order to make a good impression) don't have to see them, while those of us who do want to, can easily look them up in the other menu.

I definitely am in the "tell me how many calories there are in my food" camp and need to watch my calories tightly with my health issues, but I do know that there is a significant population that a legally mandated display of the calories would hurt if it worsens their eating disorders.



honestly, i'd rather have the list of all the ingredients than the calories



I think food outlets should tell consumers the amount of calories in food. It might not always deter me from ordering something heavy in calories if I feel like a treat but I would like to make the decision to order based on this so if I am going through a healthy phase I can choose the healthiest options. At the moment I try to guess (or use calorie counter!) but I would like to know for sure.



Yay! I am so excited for this! They already do it in California which has been helpful for me. I just know that I make better choices when I know how many calories are there.



The basic nutritional value that can often be found on a circular at the restaurant or chain is mist helpful to me.  Calories are important but the breakdown of protein, carbs, fats and sugars is far more helpful.  I was at The Cheesecake Factory a while back and was able to have their great lettuce wrap appetizer as my meal.  I had planned on their no sugar added cheese cake made with splenda.  The waitstaff could not tell me anything about the ingredients, calories, or sugars.  If they take the time to put little hearts next to things it would be so helpful to at least have an annotated menu that could be looked at when needed.

 

It seem rather obvious that they do NOT want people to know how many calories are in things.  No one would order the 1500 calorie salad or 2000 calorie entree.



I just moved to California and LOVE having the calorie information posted!  Sometimes one doesn't realize how many calories are in an item that looks healthy - a grilled chicken sandwich or salad.  I remember walking into a Jack-in-the Box a few weeks ago while on a road trip, took a look at the menu board with the calories posted, and promptly walked across the street to a subway, where I could better control the calories and portions being served to me.  This is an empowering and very helpful tool - I hope they make it nationwide and have every restaurant post calories in the future. I know it's changed my eating habits for the better.



Very timely article...I was hanging out with friends last night, and we decided to go to Red Robin on the spur of the moment. I requested nutritional info and was told it was only available on their website. I decided to have a bit of a treat since I don't go out to eat that much and ordered the salmon burger with fries. I wondered if I should have ordered a salad instead. When I got home, I looked up the info...wow, 1288 calories, 68g fat, 8g fiber, and something like 1250mg sodium. The funny thing is that the salads had MORE calories. I had actually picked one of the lower calorie items. Looking back, I would have ordered it without the bun or sauce, replaced the fries with a house salad, and had the dressing on the side. Or I would've cut the meal in half, although I wouldn't eat leftover fish. When it's a shot in the dark, I tend to believe that it can't be THAT bad.

I think restaurants should be required to have nutritional info available upon request. I don't want it on the main menu staring me in the face. It would have been a handy tool to help me make better personal choices toward my weight-loss journey, since I didn't have a chance to look it up online.

 



While the studies done are inconclusive at this point, I do think that the outcome of mandatory posting of calorie information will make a difference. The difference will be that more and more people will not eat at fast food restaurants or other restaurants where there are not healthy choices. A study showing varying choices before and after the posting of calorie counts at the same restaurant is not a valid one. How many people simply did not buy food at the establishment once the postings happened? Many people who eat regularly at fast food restaurants are not concerned with their caloric intake. They chose the menu item they wanted not because they thought it was healthy but because they wanted it. However, many people, myself included, might have allowed themselves to have a fast food burger for convenience sake on occassion. Now that the caloric values are apparent I would either find something that was within my calorie range for the meal for convenience or go elsewhere.



I agree that full postings of Nutrition Info at restaurants would be great.

Along with the added fat and calories in a lot of restaurant food, there could also be weird chemicals and preservatives - the stuff we all try to avoid by not buying processed food.

And the sodium. The sodium is a big one for me. Why the heck do restaurants feel they need to load every item with salt? That's what salt shakers are for. It really frustrates me that I can taste the overload of salt in just about every restaurant food I get, even at the "fancy" places.

In reference to the kids' parents & teenagers in fast food joints: posting the Nutrition Info will mostly only help people who are already health-conscious, and/or have an idea what "calories" are. A lot of teenagers don't even understand "calories."

But maybe bringing this information to the forefront will start a tiiiiny spark, which could spread into a burning fire, of knowledge reaching people: helping them understand nutrition and wanting to improve their health through eating. Wouldn't that be nice!



I agree with some of the previous posts.  I want the option to ask for or have a separate nutritional guide because I want to choose the healthiest options.  However, there are times that I want to be ignorant and have a hamburger and not have it staring at me telling me it is 1800 calories without fries! 

I want the best of both worlds.  I know it is good to show people in their face that most of what they are eating is not very good for them, but for me it just makes it me more stressed out.



I think it definitely helps.  When I am at a restaurant knowing the calories greatly influences my decision.  In the case of something I might have ordered, like a thai crunch salad, if I see on there it is 1250 calories or something insane (which happens all the time) I am like, "holy crap!  What did they put in this thing?!"  And that I can order a buffalo chicken sandwich for only 700 calories, I will go with the buffalo chicken.  

You can't really judge success on the choices of teenagers.  In college I saw a kid eat 21 cloves of raw garlic once on a dare (great for heart health...).  I heard the decision making part of their brains aren't fully developed yet....  I have some proof.

Posting calories solves the tricky thing about restaurants.  Sometimes the healthier sounding option is, in fact, worse! 

I also just ate at Red Robin and had a hankering for some BBQ chicken.  Take for example a Whiskey River BBQ chicken wrap from Red Robin.  It has all kinds of greenery in there, grilled chicken, and it is wrapped in a spinach tortilla, so it must be relatively healthy, right?  Wrong!  It is 1112 calories! That is more than half of most peoples daily calorie allowance!  It is also only 2 calories less than the Whiskey River BBQ Cheeseburger (weighing in at 1114) that is covered in fried onion straws! 

Where as the Whiskey River BBQ chicken sandwich, which is covered in fried onions as well, has 965!  While that is still a ton of calories, it is 147 less than the healthier appearing wrap.  Lucky for me the Red Robin in San Diego posts the calories on their menu.

I love that they list calories on menus now in California.  If you search around on the menu enough you can usually find healthier options that are around 400-700 calories, while still being totally delicious.  Knowledge is definitely power.  Not bad for dinner. 

On a side note, now I am in the mood for BBQ chicken....  This post has totally backfired....  Must... choose... healthy... options....



I like the idea of knowing the calories in restaurant food, especially fast food.  Like so many of the posts, you then can choose whether to eat there or go somewhere else.

Maybe by "coming clean" on their calorie contents, these chains will do some menu changes and reduce their fat and sodium contents to keep up with consumer demand.



I think this is an awesome idea. It give people knowledge without taking away their choices.

Yes, some people don't give a damn how many calories are in food. But some people like myself use it as a tool to order better choices. Sometimes when I Take my kids to McDonalds it is nice to be able to know how much my kids are taking in. If you get them a happy meal w chicken nuggets, apple dippers, and milk it makes a huge difference than the cheese burger and fries! I never would have had that knowledge without the calorie postings.

Sometimes even though I see a meal has a lot of calories I eat it anyway that is my choice, but at least it is an educated one.



Original Post by: cathleen_sa

It would be great if we could see at a glance the calorie count of every thing on a menu, it would make eating out less of a challenge Probably would mean I ate out more, as now I dont feel in control of the caloric content, unless I have cooked it myself.


Totally agree, you'd be surprised at the amount of hidden sugars (this is my problem area and diabetes runs in my family on both sides) there are in these items. Before ordering take out I visit the website and go through their nutrition list (eg. Swiss Chalet) I mean its quite a lot of work but you need to be rather vigilant. So this approach would definitely be more helpful when you are out dining. I wouldn't be so apprehensive at the thought of eating out either.



All eating establishments should do this.  I love how it has slowly been catching on.  I think they should provide full nutritional labeling like they do on store bought food, since different people have different dietary needs.  For example, I find the carbohydrate and sodium listings most helpful because I have Type I diabetes and hypertension.  It makes eating out and controlling my medical conditions a whole lot easier!



I am totally for calorie posting and think it should be mandatory. The research done on teens doesn't mean much. Mostly teens are burning calorie machines and don't typically count calories. When teens morph into young adaults their metabolisms start to slow you bet your A** they will find calorie postings very helpful!! I won't even eat at a restaurant now without first reviewing the menu/nutritional values first.

A bigger issue is that being heavy is now a social norm and so less teens are concerned about the obesity levels and being, well, just plain fat. Used to be that there was only one fat kid per grade level, maybe two, but now-a-days the normal weight/skinny kids is the oddity.



I agree with every post on here! I want full nutritional labeling, knowing the calorie content is great and yes its shocking to know that items that seem to be healthy are absolutely not! The amount of sodium in things shocks and infuriates me! Oh and the chemicals and preservatives are definately making us sick i would go as far to say they are killing us!

I dont mind if i have to ask for a seperate menu to see the nutritional values as i understand how difficult it must be for someone overcoming an eating disorder or for some it might throw them over edge straight into one.

Hopefully this is a step to forcing the industry to stop being misleading and decietful and start being honest and accomodating. Even when you go to the supermarket and buy your fruit and veg (this is definately healthy! Right?) it is full of chemicals and hardly has any nutritional value anymore because they're pumping it with chemicals to grow it and then buy the time its picked to the time you put it into your mouth it has lost nearly all it's nutritional value!

Im starting to feel like i should buy a farm and eat only what i grow!



When I am able to see the nutrition info at restaurants it affects my decision in some way about 80-90% of the time. 

For example, if I can't decide between two things I will go with the healthiest one.  Or sometimes I'm so shocked with the calorie/fat content of my first choice that I pick something else entirely. 

Another place where it has helped me is with ordering side items like french fries.  I might be really hungry for a Big Mac, but I'll think do I really need a medium or large fry or will a small satisfy my taste for french fries?  Seeing the calorie content of some of those high calorie items like french fries has helped me cut my portions.  A large fry has more than twice as many calories as a small, and I really don't need a large. 

Finally, I having the posted nutritional value is helpful when it comes to items that you would think would be healthier than other items but are not.  For example, a bagel at dunkin donuts has more calories that a donut (although it is not as filling, if the donut is what you are hungry for go for that).  At Taco bell the soft tacos have a lot more fat and calories than the crunchy tacos.  This also goes for the wraps that are becoming popular at many restaurants, often times the portion is half of the size of a sandwich, but they contain a lot more than half the calories and fat, if you are going to need two of them to be full, then you would be much better off with the sandwich.  And at many places, salads (with their toppings and dressings) have more fat and calories than a hamburger or something else that is considered unhealthy (of course I realize that salads are usually more vitamin rich). 

There will always be people who don't care.  But I for one 100% support the requirement to show nutritional info.  Many times I do take it into consideration. 



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Original Post by: r5newman

An unintended consequence is that changes to recipes, menus, and portions become more difficult to do.  Say you have a wonderful Pasta Puttanesca at your restaurant and now want to improve it with some whole wheat pasta and a little less oil.  Before, you just do it, tell your customers when appropriate.  Now, you have expenses getting the new version tested, new menus printed, etc. 

This is a tax on innovation.  Don't be surprised if chefs and owners quit trying to improve their dishes.

 


The menu would still have to be changed with or without nutritional info. The new dish would need to be included in the new printed menu, tested, etc, even if it had no nutritional information available for their guests.  I think this would encourage chefs and owners to be more creative to stay competitive.  More people these days want to know what they're eating.  Consumers set the rules, not chefs and owners. 



If were as innocent as it sounds it would be wonderful, but it's not. There are members of parliament in Canada that are chomping at the bit for this and the main reason for this is so that they can introduce new taxes on higher calorie foods...a luxury tax so to speak. Unfortunately, young struggling families would be hardest hit by these taxes because they would not be limited to fast food restaurants, you would also be slammed in the grocery store. The idea also includes encouraging people to discriminate against the overweight...the same sort of "war" they launched on smokers as described by a CEO of the Heart and Stroke foundation. Do we really want a society that would refuse desert to a women in a restaurant because the staff feel her BMI is too high?

Sometimes we really just have to be careful what we ask for. As an adult, I feel it's my responsibility to make healthy choices for myself and my family, I don't really want the government breathing down my neck accusing me of being a burden on the health system because they feel my BMI is "too high".



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r5newman, I see your point -- I used to work in this one restaurant which changed its dishes slightly all the time, especially with daily specials and new sushi rolls being created and whatnot, and such an expense (changing all the menus) would definitely have deterred my already-super-lazy boss from permitting the alterations, even if it would make the dish healthier (and in that part of DC, healthier food would absolutely have sold more)... or if it did change, he would just "forget" (on purpose) to change the menus and they'd have the old nutrition info, and it's really hard to get caught for that sort of thing: inspectors are rarely THAT diligent. He got away with things that are 100% against DC code (mostly re: alcohol, food) because the inspectors suck at their jobs. 

Of course, I'm assuming you're talking about changes that aren't big enough to change the dish entirely... replacing ham with beef would be a big enough change that I should hope the menu would be re-done for that, since it would mean I (as a Jew who keeps kosher) could now eat it, for instance.

However, a restaurant that wants flexibility can print the nutrition info on cheap paper menus, rather than the main ones, and let the customers keep it. That way they'd have the whole menu to reference at home when they're deciding on what restaurant to go to, which can serve as tacit advertisement for the restaurant... and those of us who want to know the nutrition info can, while it's not hard or expensive to alter them and re-print them on a printer in the manager's office. 



I understand what you guys are saying...HOWEVER...I ( and thousands of others) dont really eat at restaurants that have an actual CHEF.  lol.  The fanciest I get to eat is like Applebees or Red Robin...ya know what I mean?  I dont think they do alot of variations on their dishes... lol.   And if I am going out to a FANCY place with an actual chef?  Its probably a special occation and I usually say "Calories be damned!".  



More restaurants have chefs than you think -- the Ruby Tuesday I worked at before this DC restaurant had a chef, and that's on the level of Applebee's niceness-wise. Since many of those chains are actually franchises, the restaurant can always make certain amounts of changes to the menu if it'll attract their local population better... and some of these middle-of-the-road restaurants might want to make certain dishes healthier (or not-healthier) depending on the population around them. A chain restaurant in a white-hipster-privileged part of town, or even in an industrial area where businesspeople would go to lunch, might want to have slightly different advertised calorie counts than the same chain restaurant with a different owner near the poorer areas of town, which stereotypically have fewer people who are overly concerned about the calories they take in when they're out at Ruby Tuesday. 

 

So just because it's not a fancy restaurant doesn't mean it doesn't have a chef that may want to change the menu to attract more customers! :)



well thats nice to know!  lol.  I just kinda figured most franchise places had a pretty set menu.  I used to work at a fast food place for years and we didnt have any say in what went on sandwiches or in salads or what ever...it was all the same accross the board....so I just kinda thought all franchises worked the same way.  :)



I have lately gotten into the habit of looking online when I go out to eat to make better decisions and it gives me time to plan.  Having the info there would be better, esp if I don't know ahead of time I am eating out.  I cannot imagine a luxery tax levied, but it could be possible.  We have waited way too long to address this issue, as it should have been addressed 20 years ago but it wasn't concidered expedient.  When will we learn?



Love this and Love Nutritional Information each and every place I can get it.  Helps that we do this as a service for restaurants.

Menutrinfo.com



am addicted to it.......it makes life easy and tention free........:)



I think that in the long run having nutritional info clearly posted will make a difference in eating habits for a lot of people, but I mean in the looooong run.  Meaningful behavior change takes time.  It has taken us a long time to get to where a non-smoker can go out anywhere without feeling assaulted by tobacco smoke--hasn't it been about 50 years now?  You plant the seed, water it and let it grow.  I know that knowing how many calories are in a large fry versus a medium or small fry has pretty much guaranteed that I will not be buying the large fries anymore, but it hasn't stopped me altogether from buying them, and I am in the health profession, one of those who should know better already!



Appreciate all your comments to my post. Just wanted to update you with some new info re menu labeling. Since this article was first posted, the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) sent out, on April 1, 2010, a press release at to invite input from the public on proposed regulations regarding calorie labeling on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, retail food establishments and vending machines. The regulations cover fast food establishments, bakeries, coffee shops and certain grocery and convenience stores but do not include movie theaters, airplanes, bowling alleys and other establishments whose primary purpose is not to sell food. Feel free to share your views on the proposed regulations by visiting http://www.regulations.gov.As for me, I'd like the posting to be in movie theaters as well as wherever food is sold, but no such luck! Your thoughts?



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