This New Law May Change Fast Food Joints in Canada Forever

Do high calorie counts influence your order at restaurants?

calorie counts on menus photo credit: shutterstock

If you live in Ontario, you’ve probably noticed that there have been some changes at your favourite restaurant or coffee shop.

As of Jan 1, 2017, the calorie counts of food and beverages are required to be posted in food service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario.

Ninety percent of the population say they’re interested in this information, with a third of people actually changing their orders because of high calories, Ontario’s health minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins, told the CBC.

Commonly displayed on menu boards or table menus, this calorie label initiative is part of the Healthy Menu Choice Act.

Currently, Ontario is the only province in Canada that requires food service chains to post calorie count information.

Do Calorie Counts on Menus Make a Difference?

A similar legislation, where fast food joints had to post calorie count labels in their menus, has existed in New York City since 2008. Five years after this change took place, people didn’t notice the calorie counts anymore and the amount of calorie-rich foods purchased hasn’t changed, a study by the Journal of Health Affairs found.

Of course, calorie counts aren’t the only way to maintain a healthy diet. Avoiding fried foods, and ordering baked or grilled items are just some ways you can eat healthier at restaurants.

For more ways on how to maintain a healthy diet while dining out, check out: 15 Eating-Out Habits Of Healthy Foodies.