HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Starting December, most restaurants will be required to list calorie counts on menus and menu boards as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's final rule spawned by the Affordable Care Act.
The FDA's final menu labeling rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. These establishments will only need to post succinct caloric information, but other information – such as calories from fat, sodium and sugars – will be made available in writing upon request.
Some Hawaii-based restaurants, such as L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, are already posting the calories on their menus. But the FDA wants all information in the same font, color and size.
The FDA said posting calories on menus and menu boards will ultimately help consumers make more informed decisions for a healthier lifestyle. Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home, the federal agency said.