Do you like to be conscious of your calorie consumption? Well, we've got some good news for you!
If you prefer to drink your frozen margaritas in peace, you may not be a fan of the regulations that were just announced by the Food and Drug Administration. On Tuesday, the government agency released comprehensive, new rules that will require more restaurants across the country to provide nutritional information about their food — and drink! — just like what's already available in New York City.
One year from now, all "retail food establishments" that are part of chains with at least 20 locations must begin labeling menu items with their calorie counts. The mandate applies to drive-through fast food, delivery and takeout foods (Domino's is particularly unhappy about this), serve-yourself foods from salad and hot-food bars (including those in grocery stores), movie-theater food (you're about to find out exactly how many calories that jumbo popcorn with extra butter is packing), and — gasp! — alcoholic cocktails. (That last one doesn't include mixed drinks, just the cocktails that appear on menus.)
While some food establishments are pushing back against the new regulations by arguing that compliance will be costly and time-consuming, the FDA maintains that it's about time consumers received more information about what they're putting into their bodies.
"Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg stated in the agency's press release. "Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families."