Calorie Counts Let Loose In The Real World

Let me direct you to my husband's blog, where he wrote recently about encountering New York City's calorie-posting law.

Thoughts on NYC « Springtime for Dubcek … and Slovakia!: "And it definitely affected my lunch decision. I had thought about just grabbing the Philly cheesesteak combo, but decided against it when I saw the nutritional damage would be more than 1,300 calories for the sandwich and fries (by point of reference, when I’m not traveling or celebrating the holidays, I try to limit my daily intake to 2,000 calories). The hot dog combo was about half that, with the small fries packing about 400 calories (and earning my blame for the indigestion I felt after eating) versus 297 calories for the hot dog."

Incidentally, just this past week we went shopping at Target and stopped in the store café for a snack (the popcorn and drink combo is a great deal at $1.50!). The store had put up a new price board since we'd last visited, and it now features calorie ranges for every item on the menu.

The popcorn, fortunately for us, turned out to be a reasonable two-person snack with only about 300 calories (if you get a calorie-free beverage), but some meals had surprising stats. The hot dog and chicken fingers meals are surprisingly good bets for a light meal, but the healthy-sounding sandwiches pack a hefty punch.

Having seen calorie count-enhanced menu boards, I now definitely support their implementation nationwide. Sure, we can make estimates now, and we can even do research before heading out if we feel especially motivated, but there's nothing like having that information right in front of our eyeballs right when we need it. I hope other restaurants follow Target's lead.