Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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McDonald's New Calorie Postings: How Will it Affect You?

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A McDonald's Drive-Thru Window.More new changes at McDonald's! Last year they changed the calorie levels in their happy meals and now they are giving you the option to make better choices when you dine out. McDonald's just recently began posting their calorie counts inside their restaurants and on their drive-thru menus. As part of the Healthcare law, this was designed to educate consumers on how many calories they are actually eating at fast food restaurants with hopes of encouraging customers to make healthier selections when eating out. The overall goal of this law is to reverse the increasing number of chronic diseases related to obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Although some states have followed New York City’s lead and have been implementing this idea since 2008, it is now required in all states in the U.S. Some food chains like Subway and Panera have already been providing calorie and nutrition information as part of a way to market their healthier choices.  McDonald's has taken the lead with highlighting the calorie counts to their customers, but it isn’t the only fast food joint doing this -- the new law requires any restaurant with 20 or more locations to clearly list calorie counts as well as other nutrition information on their menus.

Notably, McDonald's has made other healthy strides as well, like reducing the portion size of the french fries in the children’s’ Happy Meals and adding apple slices to every order.  In addition, McDonald’s also hopes to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to their menu by 2020. 

Only time will tell how this impacts consumers in the U.S. Do you think this will entice customers to make healthier choices and eat fewer calories? Will this affect what you choose next at the drive thru?  

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Tags: Restaurant Nutrition

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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