Calorie counts now required on chain restaurant menus

Local News

A landmark change in the restaurant business starts Monday but you might already notice the difference with a little – or sometimes big – number next to your food order.

One of the last measures of the Affordable Care Act from 2010 goes into effect, and it could change the way you eat.

Given the choice between fried chicken or salad, it seems obvious which way most will go. There’s something about greens that lack a certain crunch. But an effort from the FDA could make some check numbers on a scale after checking numbers on a menu.

Federal regulations now call for calorie counts to be posted on chain restaurant menus. The FDA says this nationwide change gives easy-to-understand nutrition information in a direct way.

Most restaurants added calories to its menus over the last several years. Grandy’s on the Henderson strip added calories to its menu about a year ago during a remodel.

Fried chicken doesn’t pretend to be healthy, but the calorie counts could help steer you to something else if those numbers look a little large.

“It’s all up to the person,” says Kelyn Butts who’s only worked at the store for about a month. “They’re keeping count of what they’re putting in their body.”

Some like the idea, but others ordering chicken haven’t noticed a difference.

“I don’t think many people are aware of how many calories are in fast food,” says one woman ordering.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says menu labels encourage customers, on average, to order up to 50 fewer calories a day.

Calorie counts are required for restaurants with more than 20 stores but groceries, convenience stores, movie theaters, and even vending machines must also meet the new requirements.

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(This story was originally published May 7, 2018)

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