Have you noticed a change while dining? Like say, calories posted on the menu leder board as you order your meal. Well, it’s only part of the California Menu Labeling Law passed last year that went into effect January 1. The law stipulates that chain restaurants which are not sit-down (aka fancy-hand-the-menu-to-you) must post calorie count information on the menus or have it available tableside. What used to be an optional information in a brochure offered upon request is now right in your face. (Sit-down restaurants must also provide calorie information upon request if it’s not already present).

All chain restaurants in California must participate or be cited during health inspections. Early adopters (locally, at least) I’ve personally noticed include Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Starbucks.


The calorie count is eye-opening to say the least. That 10-piece chicken McNuggets meal you were eyeing? Well that’s whopping 1080 calories. That glazed donut at Starbucks? 420 calories. While I can’t say that everyone is influenced by the calorie count on the menu, it does make me reconsider my lunch options. While I’m not admitting anything, I do enjoy my occasional fast food fix. What is it they say? Do everything in moderation?

Will these changes affect how you order? Do you even care?

12 thoughts on “Ch-ch-changes

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  1. Wow not only am I shocked by the calories but also the prices at McDondals…Glad that I live in the mid-west! Love the blog!

    1. Whoa! I was unaware of the huge markup of food here in California. I’ll check it out when I’m in Cleveland later this year. If the food prices shock you, you should see our gas prices now! >punch in the gut<

      Thanks for visiting!

  2. I was at Coco’s this weekend with Jake and his mom for dinner and noticed the calories thing. It totally influenced me this weekend and I chose a much healthier option for dinner, though I have been trying to eat healthier overall so it has been a great help! I totally think twice about my choices now that the calorie count is staring me in the face!

    1. The calorie count makes me rethink my options too! Something like “what can I get for 400 calories that is more satisfying? A loaded potato or a sandwich?”

  3. If there are calorie counts on the menu, it totally influences how I order. I’m not going to order the bbq tri-tip salad knowing that it’s going to set me back 1,100 calories (for a salad!) On the other hand, sometimes I just want my favorite dish without consciously knowing how terrible it is for me. It’s certainly been eye-opening seeing the numbers for all the various things we like to eat. Starbucks kills me – but since I’m not there all the time I try to just order what I want and not think about it. It’s kind of weird… we eat at a lot of non-chains, and I just order what looks good to me that day not giving a second thought to calorie counts (since they’re not on the menu). But, I guess that’s what the labeling law is trying to change for the greater population – eating without thinking about the impacts?

    Of course, I also ordered the chocolate mousse at Mimi’s Café because it was, like, 100 calories and it totally wasn’t worth it. I would have rather had a muffin (which would have been more than 100 calories).

    1. It’s actually quite shocking to see that something you assume is healthy, like say a salad is loaded with calories. I think as long as we balance what our body is telling us what we need/wants that calories should be secondary. And that chocolate mousse would satisfy me since is seems to have the texture of jello with whipped cream and nothing decadent.

  4. I’m all for more educated eating. The more people know about their food the better! I actually got in a mini-argument with my father-in-law about this. He thinks that the government and laws, should keep their noses out of our food. I totally disagree. If people aren’t smart enough or proactive enough to educate themselves about their food, then someone needs to help them. Perhaps this will help people make better choices and slow the expansion of Americans’ waistlines!

    1. In addition to your argument, people need to know the consequences of what they’re eating. Sure the large french fries taste good now but later how does that 1000+ calories affect your health?

  5. My husband and I hit up Red Lobster for dinner on Friday courtesy of a gift card given at Christmas. While I’m not watching my calories, I did choose my meal based on the menu-provided calorie counts (and expected satiety) instead of just ordering one of their entrees that screamed “that looks good.” Anyway, the calories on most menu items don’t usually surprise me — when I eat fast food, I’m not really looking for something healthy to begin with.

    Also, in unrelated TV-watching news, I discovered Sezmi last week in my never-ending quest to convince my husband to cut the cable cord. Maybe it would work for you guys when things like the Oscars come up? It’s a large up-front cost for the equipment, but then only $5 a month thereafter. The monthly fee allows you to DVR content on the networks and use video on demand services when you want. The company’s rumored to add some cable networks later this year, too, for an additional fee. It’s still not enough for my sports-loving husband, but I’m determined to cut the cord (as an experiment anyway) this summer.

    1. I agree that when going to a fast food place that besides convenience, I know upfront that I won’t be getting the healthiest food.

      re: Sezmi. Thanks! I will look into it. I was longing to watch some pre-Oscars coverage yesterday and couldn’t find anything online but AP’s live coverage which was lacking for me. Hope you can cut the cord soon and see if it works for you and your husband.

  6. Actually its up to every person. I kinda like fast food 🙂 dont have anything against. By the way i really like that kinda posts, Keep at the good work. Sorry about my english.


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