Restaurants to Post Calorie Counts

Calories eaten away from home do count, and the government wants to make sure you know it. A clause in the new health-care legislation stipulates that big restaurant chains such as McDonald's, Starbucks, and Burger King as well as vending machines will have to post their calorie counts upfront, The New York Times reports. Under the new regulations, for example, the fact that Big Macs contain more than 500 calories—more than a quarter of the recommended daily allotment, and that king-size Snickers bars contain 440 calories, will be printed on menus and vending machines. The new legislation, which applies to chains with 20 outlets or more, takes effect in 2011 and was modeled on a New York City regulation that is already in effect.