Counting Calories: The Law Of The Land

One little-noticed provision of the new health reform bill will require major restaurant chains, from Starbucks to Burger King, to post the calories of their offerings on menus and drive-through signs. Vending machines will also need to display the caloric content of snacks for sale.

Corby Kummer, writing The Atlantic blog, calls the provision "the best part of health care reform."

And even while many people will ignore the new disclosures of nutritional content and calories and continue to gorge on fast food, others will actually change their behavior. (I know that my personal Frappuccino addiction stopped abruptly when I found out the vanilla version had about 350 calories.)

The New York Times quotes Yale food policy and obesity expert Kelly Brownell saying that the new mandate "is an historical development" that will certainly have an impact on public health.

Perhaps. But at the very least, it's one step toward a growing consciousness about what we eat.

This program aired on March 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Rachel Zimmerman

Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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