Fast Food Chains mandated to display calories for food

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -Fast food junkies will have a harder time ignoring high calories in the up sized number three special.

A new provision in the health reform legislation is designed to guide customers to healthier choices.

The choices for a quick meal are limitless at more than 200-thousand chain restaurants. So can be the calories.

You'll soon know just how many. Any restaurant with 20 or more locations will have to display calorie counts right next to each menu item, including menu boards.

Not only will they have to provide the nutritional information inside, but they'll also have to post it on their drive through menu.

Many restaurants already post nutritional information near the counter, on the wrapper or online.

"You got your calories for all our major items and then if you want to look more in-depth, inside each one of our pamphlets you've got your saturated fats, all your cholesterol. Most of the things most people want to know," said General Manager Chick Filet, Brittany Vann.

You'll also learn the salad loaded down with ranch dressing may be just as fattening as a cheeseburger.

"One of the fast food places, I just found out, one of their items had 1400 calories and that's a day's worth," said calorie counter, Shannon Westfall.

Calorie counts will show up on vending machines. Healthy reminders are already putting the guilt on Nacogdoches Police.

"The ones with the orange dots are the healthier snacks. You notice there aren't a lot of orange dots in there," said Corporal Keith Lee.

Chief Mike Kelly, the station's health advocate is working on more healthy choices. He's already cut prices on water and low calorie snacks.

"I think it helps people out right there at the time they're going to make the purchase," said Kelly.

Nutritionists praise the options, but realize taste buds for something sweet or fattening are mighty powerful.

"I hope this new law will make people more interested and more informed to make better choices," said Nutritionist, Nancy Hill.

The provision could lead to less disease and childhood obesity.

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