The FDA issued rules last November that indicated would require most restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops to display nutritional information on their menu boards. This has been a change that has been years in the making. Many restaurants have feared this change. The changes were supposed to be implemented by December 1, 2015. In July, the FDA pushed back the deadline to December 1, 2016.
So will you see calorie counts on all menus? No. The rules only apply to establishments with 20 or more locations. Your local diner or sandwich shop does not have to post anything. Also, restaurants are allowed to post a calorie range for items with a lot of options. For example, pizza places or ice cream shops that allow mix-ins.
Many restaurants already have the information posted, such as McDonalds. Many consider the rules a big step in the right direction for the food industry. They feel the accountability on the part of restaurants is important as well as the boon of information for consumers.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about it. I do think it is important to be an informed consumer. However, I wonder how much that really changes our purchasing decisions.
I’d love to hear what you think. Are you for, agains, or neutral on calorie information posted on menus at restaurants? Let me know in the comments!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!
1 thought on “Calories on the Menu”
I think it’s a good idea. People who don’t care about their calorie intake won’t be too bothered by it but for people who are, it’s useful information to know. My main reservation is that calories do not reflect the nutritional composition of the food, and something relatively lower calorie doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier.
I’ve written some similar thoughts here, about nutrition labels and taxation:
Feeling lazy to type out all my thoughts again so feel free to read the post if you like 🙂