Restaurants now required to show calorie counts

ObamaCare rule requiring calorie counts on menus takes effect

It was originally supposed to go into effect in 2015, but had been delayed until today.

The law requires foodservice establishments to list calorie counts for each food offering prepared and sold in their stores.

Congress's inability to enact sensible laws is concerning enough, but more worrisome is that nobody who voted for Obamacare considered how the rule might work in the real world when they buried it in the Affordable Care Act.

Several restaurant chains that included Burger King, McDonald's, Panera Bread and Taco Bell have listed their calorie information for several years, but some, including the Melting Pot and Legal Sea Food, have not added the new information yet.

The Cheesecake Factory is one of the more prominent chains that will usher in changes on Monday.

The inclination to provide consumers with nutritional information is laudable.

Government health officials say the average man needs 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight; the average woman needs 2,000 calories.

"Nobody is going to be hammered for not having everything in place", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told The Washington Times. It is hoped the new rule will help American consumers make more informed choices about how much they are eating when they eat out.

Roughly 230,000 restaurants will fall under the menu labeling law nationwide, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Soon, you can go to some of your favorite fast food chains and see the number of calories for every item.

'Pizza's unique ordering variations create countless combinations making it hard to accurately deliver information on printed menu boards and costly to maintain, ' he said in a statement.

Some argue, though, it's expensive for the restaurants and a form of government overreach. "You're comparing apples to apples - literally". "Pretty much all I get are salads - lettuce and chicken", added the 40-year-old analyst.

However, all chains that serve food with 20 or more locations - including movie theaters and grocers - must now comply. Well, per new federal rules, an answer is quickly coming.

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said she's pleased with the law, calling it "a positive impact from a low-priced public policy".

"This is definitely an important and long-overdue step in providing greater transparency around the health impacts of the food that we eat", Alexa Kaczmarski, national campaign organizer for nonprofit organization Corporate Accountability said.

What is not clear is whether the numbers will make a difference in what consumers choose.

"I think there's a lot of consumer shock". The intuition is that a consumer may already be leaning toward a cheeseburger before getting a chance to consider the calorie information, thus minimizing its effect on what he or she orders.

But Kimbrough said he doubted that calorie listing changed most customers' behavior.

Earlier this month, the Food Marketing Institute complained the rule was "poorly designed" for the grocery and drug stores the FMI represents. She also noted that calorie labeling tends to spur restaurants and supermarkets to offer healthier dishes - something more and more consumers are demanding these days, she noted.

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