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McDonald’s One of First to Add Menu Calorie Count

Getty Images, photo by Matt Cardy

There has been a growing demand in this country for restaurants to post  the calorie count of food on their menu and it looks like McDonald’s will be first to act across the country. California began requiring restaurants with twenty or more locations to put calorie counts on the menu last year, but enforcement has been lax. McDonalds said it would replace all inside and drive-through menu boards at more than 14,000 locations in the U.S. to indicate calorie counts of each item on their menu..

Menu labeling is part of President Obama’s healthcare reform law of 2010 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration working on proposed rules.  While the healthcare reform law is being debated, the menu labeling rules have been pushed back from last year to later this year or early 2013. Pressure is being generated from a board coalition of parents, health professionals and more that’s forcing the issue.  More than a third of adults and 17% of children have been affected with obesity which has led to a dangerous condition in this country. With Americans eating out more often than before, Dr. Cindy Goody, McDonald’s senior director of nutrition said they have made a lot of progress toward their nutrition commitments but recognizes there is still more to do.

Legislators and health professionals hope other chain restaurants will follow McDonald’s lead. Some restaurants like Panera Bread Company and Au Bon Pain have been posting calorie counts in their stores. The Subway sandwich chain has long touted its focus on nutrition.

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