You know that fast food is totally terrible for you, but if you had nutrition information in front of your face while you ordered, would you practice some restraint? The next time you head to a Taco Bell or even Coldstone Creamery you’ll be tested.
Starting May 7, the Food and Drug Administration will require any food outlet with more than 20 locations to list the calorie counts for each menu item — every restaurant from Auntie Annes to Chick-fil-A, Orange Julius and Panera are affected. And the information won’t be posted exclusively online, or in some dark corner of the restaurant either. The calorie counts will be front and center on the menu, so you won’t be able to throw caution to the wind and order those Doritos Locos Tacos and hope for the best. You’ll know exactly the size of the caloric gut-bomb you’re eating.
It’s an Obama-era policy that finally being enacted after slogging through the legal process, but if you think you recall seeing this information on menus at places like McDonald’s and Starbucks already, you would be correct. Several large chains got out ahead of the legislation and began to implement the policy voluntarily.
The FDA describes the effort as part of a public health endeavor:
National menu labeling could help make a big difference in America’s obesity rates, one of our most vexing public health challenges. Today, about 40 percent of all Americans are obese, and obesity increases the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer,” the agency writes.
So no more denial. If you’re choosing to chow down on burgers and fries, it’s all on you now.