Calorie Counts on Menus—Friend or Foe?

February 15, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

A recent study found that children and teens pretty much ignore calorie counts posted on fast-food menus (which is required in New York City). While the kids noticed the calories posted, they ordered whatever they wanted regardless. No big surprise there—how many kids do you know are going to order the salad instead of the cheeseburger because it’s 200 fewer calories?

But what about you? Do you notice when calorie counts are posted, and does it affect what you order? I personally love when places post their calories, and it definitely influences what I eat. It’s so easy to order something—even something that sounds healthy, like a soup or salad—without realizing that my seemingly light lunch is packing on a lot more calories than I think it is. It’s pretty shocking to see how many calories are in a large order of fries (1464 at Five Guys Burgers, to be exact—that’s almost the total number of calories you’re supposed to consume in an entire day) or a Starbucks Frappuccino (a grande White Chocolate Crème is 480 calories, which is essentially a meal). So I welcome calorie counts on menus; they help me make smarter, healthier choices. And I’ll stick with the small fries and tall skim latte, thank you very much. (Most of the time.)

Are you a fan of calorie counts, or do you hate seeing them posted? And do they affect what you order?