What Effect Could Posting Calorie Counts Have on Americans’ Health?

We are living in a world where fast-casual meals and takeout food have become too convenient. It’s as simple as a few taps on your phone and having something delivered to your door. Even calorie counts can really be that easy. 

The convenience of fast food is undeniable, and the impact on Americans’ health (and the strain on our wallets) is astounding. As more restaurants share their calorie counts, could this be a singular nail in the coffin of dining out in the US? Let’s find out.

The Positive Impacts of Posting Each Food Item’s Calorie Counts On Menus

In May 2018, the FDA began requiring that calorie counts be listed on menus at restaurant chains with 20 or more locations. Smaller businesses are required to maintain this information and provide it upon the request of patrons. 

Professionals in the nutrition industry have made fascinating estimations. Consumers selecting lower-calorie menu items at restaurants around the country could have drastic effects on their health. It could reduce obesity and help prevent 135,781 cases of cardiovascular disease. This includes 27,646 deaths and 99,736 cases of Type 2 diabetes.

It’s safe to assume that with this data, restaurants will create or source healthier recipes and more nourishing food items for their customers. With healthier options made available, consumers will also begin to make healthier choices. 

Americans Need a Food Calorie Counter on the Menu For Portion Control

A significant issue with dining out at restaurants isn’t necessarily the menu items being ordered. It’s the beverage consumed with the meal, typically high in sugar, and serving sizes of entrees and dishes produced. 

Even if you order a salad with chicken, the restaurant’s serving size is larger than you’d make for yourself. 

You also have to account for any soft drinks, cocktails, or tea consumed. At home, it may be easier and less tempting to order a drink and just have water instead.

For over a decade, reports, studies, and news stories have warned Americans about increased caloric intake of dining out. The average meal at a restaurant contains about 200 calories more than a typical meal you’d eat at home. 

The knowledge alone of the calories per meal may encourage consumers to make healthier choices when eating out. It could motivate restaurants and fast food establishments to pivot away from offering unhealthy foods and ingredients. This includes meals that are high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugar and provide more nutritious options for their customers. 

This menu labeling policy can influence the consumer and the businesses it affects. It could lead to Americans consuming healthier foods overall. Obesity and chronic disease are becoming more of a public health crisis every day. This could revolutionize the public health system and the many Americans affected by obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

You Need an Effective Recipe Calorie Counter — MenuCalc Can Help

By calculating the nutrition analysis for restaurants, you will comply with the FDA Menu Labeling Rule. 

Providing nutrition information, including the calorie content of foods, in restaurants enables consumers to make informed dietary choices. Need help determining the nutritional value of your menu items? Then look no further. 

MenuCalc offers nutrient databases and consulting services to help restaurants ensure they’re operating by FDA standards and compliance. It’s a big responsibility that shouldn’t rest on your shoulders. Let MenuCalc take the lead so you can get back to your front-of-the-house responsibilities. Learn more here. 

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