That has how many calories?! KY Lawmakers want you to know


by WHAS11 News

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 6:51 PM

(WHAS11) - Just how many calories are you consuming when you go out to eat? Kentucky lawmakers want you to know for sure. They're pushing to get restaurants to post calorie information in the restaurants.

Right now, at most places, it's a guessing game and its one Kentucky and America is failing, by choosing high calorie foods.

However, America is slowly catching on to the health realities of eating too much fast food. In cities that already have caloric information on the menu, 82% say having the information changed their order.

"Our changing lifestyle and changing eating habits make menu labeling necessary for us to make healthier choices," said Sen. Denise Harper Angel, (D) Jefferson County.

Menu labeling, adding the number of calories next to fries and shakes in the drive through could become mandatory with new legislation in Frankfort.

“Nutrition is the law of the land and its time that this significant portion of what we are spending our dollars on comes on board," added Rep. Kelly Flood (D) Lexington.

Americans spend half their food budget in restaurants, dining out on average four times a week.
The law would take the guess work out of ordering, calories would be listed in fast food restaurants and chains with more than 20 nationwide locations.

The Restaurant Association hasn't opposed the state bill. Their fight may be in Washington where a similar federal law is making its way through the capitol.

Currently, there are no requirements for food chains to count calories. If you see it, it's voluntary.

Customers seem to think the labeling is a good idea. 78% of those polled support it. And studies show labeling changes ordering.

Kentucky ranks poorly for diabetes, heart disease and obesity and even nutritionists believe figuring calories is a guessing game.

Some restaurants have cut significant numbers of calories from food. Others have changed portion sizes so that the calorie content wouldn't be so high.

Supporters of this law say they don't want people to think this is big government telling anyone what to eat, just providing people with the information.