Thanks to a new Food and Drug Administration ruling, not even movie theaters and pizza shops will be safe havens for calorie overloads anymore. Every shop, picture house and chain restaurant must list their menu's calorie count. Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving!
"This is one of the most important public health nutrition policies ever to be passed nationally," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Right now, you are totally guessing at what you are getting. This rule will change that."
I don't know if we're really guessing with all of the apps that help you count your calories and wristbands that tell you how much you've "moved" in a day, but sure, I'll go with it. Nearly a third of the calories Americans eat are gobbled outside of the home, which means it's harder to control the ingredients and the portions—unless you're especially vigilant and constantly asking whether that chicken you just ordered was "happy." Even vending machines and amusement parks are expected to list their caloric offerings under the FDA's new ruling. Can you imagine going to Disneyland now with this law?
Welcome to Tomorrow Land, that burger, fries and soda are $100 and also 1,000,000 calories!
Chain restaurants covered by the mandate include KFC, Subway, Applebee's and The Cheesecake Factory. Let me spare you the trouble, though: if you're counting your calories and aren't enjoying a cheat day, you're probably never going to The Cheesecake Factory again. Oh, and those nefarious alcoholic baby swimming pools we order at places like Friday's will also be exposed under the FDA's iron fist (though a mixed drink ordered straight from the bar will not).
The new caloric crusade kicks in next holiday season, but restaurants who want you to continue ordering their baby back ribs and liquor kiddie pools will probably push back on the ruling. How else can they talk you into downing 1,300 calories in one beverage on girls night out?
Image via The Cheesecake Factory/Facebook.