With new devices and apps that monitor or daily steps, calories and exercise, our society is on a mission to be healthier. We care about our fitness…but what about our food choices? How can we monitor everything we eat on a daily basis in our busy day to day lives? While the tracking systems exist, entering calories on a meal we didn’t make at home can be cumbersome and tricky. To help streamline the way we view our calorie intake while eating out, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently announced new regulations requiring calorie information to be listed on menus. This regulation applies to all restaurants with twenty or more locations and is set to take effect in December of this year.
What does this mean for the restaurant owner?
For chains of 20+ stores, this is mandatory. For operators under 20 locations, this is voluntary; however, customers will grow to expect this information. To stay competitive, it can only be seen as a positive for all restaurant owners to adopt these changes.
The purpose of this ruling is so people can monitor and control their calorie intake while making their meal decisions. With this information listed clearly on the menu, consumers may be more apt to choose a chicken salad sandwich and fruit over a cheeseburger and fries. Small business owners will want to keep a close eye on the impact of these changes, what that means to their menu selection and how this will ultimately impact food costs. While completely revamping your menu is not necessary, some restaurants may find that their menu selections need some modifications to offer healthy alternatives.
What does this mean for the consumer?
Now let’s be honest. If you go to a restaurant with the soul purpose of having those delicious chilli cheese fries, I doubt anything is going to persuade you otherwise. The listed calorie count could say “heart attack” and that still wouldn’t convince you. Why? Because we will barter with ourselves to eat the foods we love. While the plate of chili cheese fries may not be healthy, for our personal bartering system we now have become vividly aware of how many calories we expended out of or daily allowance. Now you can plan your remaining meals for the day around the calories you have left. The suggested daily calorie limit for adults is 2,000. The new FDA menu regulation allows us, the consumer, the knowledge to be fully aware of the calories we put in our bodies. While tracking calories is good, exercise is still the major player in our quest for improving our healthy.
Now is the time to start eating right and getting your daily exercise.
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