Will displaying calorie counts on menus make us healthier? | Opensource.com

Will displaying calorie counts on menus make us healthier?

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As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, national chain restaurants, bakeries, grocery stories, convenience stores, and even vending machines will soon be required by law to display calorie counts on all standard menu items.  

It's all part of an effort to fight obesity, and that's a step toward disease prevention.

According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), there are a lot of obese Americans: 35.5% of women, 32.2% of men, and 16.9% of children. And it's not just Americans. Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adults are obese. And obesity is the fifth-leading risk for global deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. In addition, 44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden, and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributed to obesity.

So, will a federal plan requiring calorie labeling on menus make you reconsider that double cheeseburger, extra large fries, or grande mocha Frappuccino? Do you think this nutritional transparency will affect what other people buy?


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About the author

Lori Mehen - Lori Mehen is an Account Manager in Brand Communications + Design at Red Hat. She grew up in Los Angeles, CA and now resides in Durham, NC with her husband and three kids. Lori enjoys water skiing, cooking and car racing.