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Should All Fast Food Restaurants Include Calorie Counts? (POLL)

McDonald’s was the latest fast food giant to include the number of calories in each menu item ahead of the requirement by the new US healthcare law.

Unless you’re Jared from Subway, few people who are looking for trimmer waistlines head to fast food restaurants.

Yet McDonald’s 14,000 restaurants all over the nation, including over along the Peninsula, have chosen to include calorie counts on their menus ahead of the President Obama’s new healthcare law that requires it, Reuters reported.

Chain restaurants with 20 or more locations must include calorie counts and other nutrition details on menus thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in June to uphold the healthcare law. The deadline to do so has not been announced.

“We wanted to voluntarily do this,” Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, told The Associated Press. “We believe it will help educate customers.”

You can now calculate how much a Big Mac and large fries is (1,050 calories), or a Sausage Egg McMuffin and a hot chocolate (750 calories.)

Cindy Goody, senior director of nutrition for McDonald's USA, described the company's latest move as a way to help its customers understand their food choices, Reuters reported.

Subway and Panera Bread locations have also started posting calorie counts on their menus.

Do you want to know how many calories are in your food? Do you think this will slow a growing obesity epidemic amongst children? Let us know in the comments. 

Len Saunders September 15, 2012 at 01:29 PM
This will be interesting, and I am curious to know what the response will be. For some, this will be helpful to individuals who are counting calories, so they may keep up with their health plan. For others, in a hurry, just looking for a meal, it may not make a difference, but time will tell how this 'pans' out. Len Saunders http://www.lensaunders.com
Bucksnort September 15, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Make sure to get a diet Coke with that double quarter pounder and fries.
Thane September 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Sharing the calorie count is a good move towards providing consumers with appropriate information to make an informed choice about our diet. However, information alone will not address obesity concerns for these tend to be more emotionally than rationally based. So a great necessary first step, but let's not fool ourselves that it's sufficient to make us healthy; that's a personal issue we each need to find our answer to!
Angelique September 15, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I think all the restaurants should include it, it makes more sense then banning happy meals. Let people be informed BUT still have the right to choose!
Vince Chutney September 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Sure, as long as they include on our ballots the IQs of the candidates so that we know who we are voting for.
haveapizza September 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM
If a business wants to do it, more power to them. No need for another law mandating it. If one is so concerned about managing peoples weight, how about restricting the foods you can use with food stamps. If you cant manage your own life to the point you need others to feed you, its highly unlikely you will be able to make the slightly more subtle choices of choosing the right things to eat. When you look to others to manage your life, you give up your freedom.
Elsa Schafer September 15, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I'm surprised how often I find it handy to quickly stop in somewhere "fast" to keep me going in a hectic day - never before done - and what good options are becoming available. The great part is having a fast food chain cluster those low calorie options so you can see whether your guesses are right - and make it easier to get protein and salad within reasonable calorie limits! Hope they all follow suit :)
DanC September 15, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Subway put calorie counts on its menu in the late 90s.
Becky September 15, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Calorie count information is a good thing, helpful in making a decision in ordering. It's no different than posting price information. There is a trend in offering more healthful choices at fast food restaurants, they want to keep you coming back. Makes sense.
Kathy Schneider September 15, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I am so glad for this new law, not only for fast food restaurants, but for all chain restaurants.
Becky September 15, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Yes, chain restaurants should also be included. We used to enjoy the Asian chicken salad at Applebee's, we thought we were making a healthy choice, What a surprise to find out the high calorie count around 1200 calories ... for a salad! Now make my own version at home. Packaged broccoli slaw, rotisserie chicken, Newman's salad dressing and a few slivered almonds. Yum.
PATTY PEASLEY September 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM
It's a good start in making us more aware of the nutritional content of what we eat. This info is helpful to all consumers but we have to learn how to translate those facts for our individual needs.
Vince Chutney September 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM
The people in this area (and in most big city, leftist controlled urban centers, e.g., NYC) just love to have government lay down more rules and regulations. They just can't get enough. And with the passage of each one of these gems, another one of our liberties disappears. If you people need to know the calories or the content of what you are eating, ask the seller. If they do not provide you with a satisfactory answer, you have the right to take your business elsewhere. If enough people do that, then the business owner will probably figure it out before their business declines or goes under. It then becomes a matter between the business owner and their customers, i.e., the public, and the government need not get involved. That's how it works in a free, capitalistic society. I know some of you would prefer a society where government is involved in every aspect of your lives, but I continue to hold out hope that the principles that our founding fathers laid out will be respected and our precious freedoms will endure.
frank September 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I agree, if I want a big mac, I just get it, I know it's not the best lunch to consume, but if I feel bloated or I just ate some thing bad for me, I'll run around the block the next day.
Biemme September 16, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Yes and i would add sugars too and ban all the MSG like they did in NYC few years go. California is still behind....
Biemme September 16, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I am not leftist but I a pay good money, hence I have the right to know what's in the food I consume
Bob September 16, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Barbara no one suggested you need to consume food if you don't know the ingredients of. What people are suggesting is you patronize a place that accomodates your needs.
Becky September 16, 2012 at 06:52 AM
In the grocery stores, read the labels. If it's low fat it usually has added sugar.
Biemme September 16, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Between not knowing and knowing, I'd rather know what is in my food and then I will make a decision. This has nothing to do with politics, actually as history shows, communism doesn't like to keep people informed and doesn't allow for people to make choices....they'll make them for you. Between being ignorant and knowledgeable I' d rather be knowledgable and then being able to make a decision on my own.
Tim Chafee September 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I'm with Vince. And I am looking forward to paying more taxes for targeted foods because "you're Fat".
Julie Kline September 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Actually, the more information a consumer has, the more informed decision they can make. No one is trying to legislate against fast food all together. Companies are simply going to have to provide information to consumers. How exactly does it infringe on anyone's freedom to be provided with more information?
Fat Boy September 16, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@Julie: In the words of the venerable Dalai Lama, "Sometimes it's just better to keep the secret sauce a secret".
Katarina Lukianov September 17, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Vince, I don't understand your adversion to being an informed consumer. I personally never eat that poison, but folks that do eat it, or even worse, feed it to their children should know what they're doing. And while this may be a bit off subject Vince, remember that one of the "principles" that our founding fathers laid down was that slavery was acceptable. Times change.
Katarina Lukianov September 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Putting aside the big government Boogie Man, what I would really like to see done with fast food is a "fat" tax and a "litter" tax. This so-called food is just as bad for people as cigarettes, so why not a tax to help off-set the cost of the associated health issues? And the litter tax, because it appears that most fast food consumers are unaware of what trash cans are for and leave it to someone else to clean up their mess.
Bob September 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Katarina it is the undue burden it would place on small mom and pop establishments. If you are pulling up to the average fast food place you have already made a bad decision. Thing is how would they define fast food? Deli, food truck, taco stand or just the obvious Mcd's, Buger king and that type place?
Senor Gigante September 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Isn't the entire requirement by big brother govt. an oxymoron? C'mon, think about the stupididty; "fast food calorie count"-------let that resonate for a while.
Bergie September 17, 2012 at 07:07 PM
So Vince thinks the gov't is too intrusive? Maybe he should add some rat feces to his fast food meal to counteract the effects of gov't "intrusion." @Bob: please read the question next time: it asks about fast food chains, not small mom and pop places. Besides, there is reasonably priced software now: enter two slices of bread, 3 oz. turkey, 1 T mayo, etc and it will give you the calorie & fat count. Might even add 2 roaches for Vince since he doesn't like the County Health dep't interfering. Except in SanFran, this is not a proposal to limit your choices, just gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision. Kind of like knowing the policies of the candidate you will vote for (or against) in November.
Vince Chutney September 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Bergie said: "Besides, there is reasonably priced software now: enter two slices of bread, 3 oz. turkey, 1 T mayo, etc and it will give you the calorie & fat count." Perfect Bergie! Thanks for making my point for me! Leave it to the ingenuity of the free marketplace to figure out how we can get our calorie counts without requiring the intervention of Big Brutha. Bergie, I don't know why you chose to sidetrack this thread into a discussion about dining on roaches and rat feces, but I strongly recommend that you stop frequenting such establishments ASAP. Seriously, I think calories should be the least of your concerns...
chrryl bryan September 18, 2012 at 06:03 AM
I have actually changed my mind on what i wanted because their were calories listed on Starbucks coffee drinks. It alao had changed what i will let the grandkids have.

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