Calorie-Counting is Chic!

New York and California are known for creating the latest fashion trends, like pastel mini-dresses and high-waisted skirts. Now the states are starting a trend to make it easier to fit into those fashions.

In September, California became the first state to require fast-food restaurants to print calorie counts on their menus. New York City has adopted similar requirements, which I’ve happily taken advantage of. As you may know from my previous posts, I hate to cook (unfortunately), and I often eat from the plethora of restaurants in my ‘hood in NYC. My fave is Cosi, mainly because they put so much meat on their sandwiches (I need my protein!).

Before Cosi started listing calorie counts, I always ordered chicken. But now Cosi’s menu clearly states that its chicken entrees are always 50-100 calories more than its turkey entrees. (Their chicken seems to be prepared with extra oil, although my local store manager didn’t know for sure).
Fortunately, consumers nationwide will soon be able to make similar more-informed food decisions. More than 12 states are working on legislation similar to Cali’s. Until then, some restaurants are voluntarily posting calorie info.

Yum! Brands, Inc, which includes Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, enjoyed greater profits after going trans-fats-free a while back, so they have happily started posting calorie counts on their menus nationwide, a process they pledge will be complete by 2011. They already have lower-calorie options at each restaurant and are seeking ways to reduce the food’s sodium content. They decided to no-longer advertise to children younger than 12, and they’re working on an online exercise program.

How friggin’ cool is that? Finally, we’re cooperating to take a notch or two out of our nation’s fat belt. It feels good that, every time I buy something low-cal, I’m not only helping myself, but I’m encouraging restaurants to keep the healthy trend rolling.

Have you seen calories posted on menus in your neighborhood? Tell us about it, so we can support these restaurants and keep this trend going!

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