Ending Blissful Calorie Ignorance

The nutritional information for your food and drink may soon be listed on menus, vending machines, and even your receipt. In today’s electronic age anyone can look up the calorie content of their fast food cheeseburger on the internet, their phone, iPad, or whatever the electronic medium of choice may be; however, generally the individuals motivated to do so are the people concerned about caloric intake, not necessarily the people who should be concerned. Soon, health care legislation will begin to force Americans, ready or not, to face the truth about the food they are putting into their bodies.

Legislation in some states such as New York and California have already mandated chain restaurants to label their menus, but the passage of the health care bill will force menu labeling to be standardized nationally. Right now, this mandate will only apply to chain restaurants with over 20 locations.

Taking this “force feeding” of nutritional information a step further, Burgerville in Idaho is going to begin printing the calorie content of orders on the receipt, along with fat, fiber, and carbohydrate content. The nutritional information will be so detailed it will even reflect any changes made to an order, like “extra bacon” or “hold the mayo.”

These nationwide changes could be a blessing for those calorie counters out there, and will hopefully be a wake-up call to the people over indulging in unhealthy fast food. To those in between, read the fine print with caution.