In a new regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required many fast-food restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops label calorie information on their menus.
This may help customers monitor their calories intake, make healthy food choices and control body weight.
It is known that many restaurants tend to serve food with large portions and excessive calories.
Too many calories and excessive sugar and salt can contribute to obesity and lead to many chronic health conditions.
The conditions include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Therefore, it is important for people to maintain healthy body weight.
According to the new FDA regulation, calories must be listed for food and beverages.
The food establishments that have to do this include fast-food restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, places of entertainment and certain grocery and convenience stores that sell fast foods.
In addition, calorie information needs to be labeled for take-out and delivery food, foods purchased at drive-through windows, foods that you serve from a salad or hot-food bar, alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine, and cocktails that appear on menus.
The calorie information must be clearly displayed so consumers can see it when they are serving themselves.
In addition, there will be a reminder included on menus and menu boards: 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.
FDA experts suggest people use calorie information on menus to make healthy food choices.
For example, they can compare different serving options for the same type of food. This means choosing a grilled chicken sandwich at 380 calories over a fried sandwich at 570 calories.
It also means choosing sparkling water, which has no calories, compared to a soft drink at 250 calories.
People can also check the calorie information of sauces or salad dressings when ordering a salad.
Moreover, people can use the information to cut down on saturated fats and increase the amount of fiber in your meals to lower their sodium intake.
High sodium intake could lead to high blood pressure, which is a big risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
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