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Apr 01
2010

Do You Really Want To Eat That?

Posted by: KatMeyer in About The Perfect 10 Diet

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It hit the news big this week as the new health care legislation was passed: calorie information will need to be posted on all menus and drive-through signs as soon as 2011. Chain restaurants in New York City—with more than 15 locations—already must publish nutritional information, and several states are considering or have passed similar legislation.

This is good news for consumers—especially health-conscious consumers. Granted, if you’re going to a typical fast food chain and order a hamburger, you don’t really expect to get a low-calorie, healthy meal. But if you order a salad, you might not expect it to have 1,400 calories, for instance. Now, you’ll know.

Many chain restaurants already publish such information on their Web sites, but having to place it in consumers hands on a menu or keeping it top-of-mind on a drive-through sign may change the way people order food, in a healthier direction. Panera Bread recently became the first nationwide restaurant chain to post calorie information on its menu boards. It will be interesting to see if people still pick up the carrot walnut muffin when the board tells them it has 440 calories.

It also will be interesting to see if chains change their recipes as this policy becomes law. Claim Jumper, a West Coast restaurant chain, recently published its nutritional information, and it isn’t pretty: the citrus chicken salad, for example, carries a whopping 2,520 calories. And that doesn’t include any side dishes.

Every foodie knows it isn’t only calories that count, but you’ll likely have to visit Web sites to get all the details. Hopefully, being armed with calorie information can help people make healthier choices and live healthier lives—it's at least a step in the right direction.

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