Calorie Counting a Requirement in the Health Care Bill


If you watched the votes for the Health Care Bill, did you know there is a requirement about calorie counts have been added to the bill? Apparently, restaurants will have to include all calorie counts for food sold on their menus. This will consist of fast food restaurants and dine in restaurants.

The one thing I find hard for this to be accurate is for people like me who omit certain ingredients on their dishes while dining at any restaurant; whether it will be fast food or regular dine-in restaurant with a full menu. I don’t have pickles on my burgers at any restaurant. So the calorie count on this item would be inaccurate for those like me who omit specific details of their dishes.

Not only that, what is going to happen when we add items to a dish in a restaurant that is usually added at an additional cost? Where are those calorie counts going to be listed on the menu?

There are quite a few people who will order one dish and share it with them because of the size of the portions.

For example, The Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant, has several dishes that can feed three people. At least their dishes can feed my family of three rather than one person. For us the calorie counts for a serving of one would be off because one of us may eat more than another. Dividing the calorie counts into three would be difficult for my family because my husband eats more than I do, I eat more than my daughter, and she may not eat all the portion she takes.

This leads me to wonder how well this addition to the health care bill was thought out. Did the person or people who added the calorie count clause into the health care bill think about what was mentioned in the above paragraph? More than likely not.

Not only that, when I buy a bag of M&amp’M’s out of a vending machine, I don’t eat the entire amount of candy in the bag at one time. Most of the time, my whole family will take some from the pack. In our case, the calorie count for one serving is wrong. The same thing applies to us in this case as it does the dishes from The Great Wall.

This is one of those areas of health care reform that has its benefits but wasn’t looked thoroughly into before adding it to the bill. While I understand the obesity or overweight issue that faces many people in this country, how many people follow the calorie counts and the amounts of other things listed on the nutrition information on menus and other products sold in grocery stores?

I understand parts of what I read, but I don’t fully understand everything I am reading in that information. Is the FDA going to provide classes or other information explaining all this to every person in the United States for free? Do they care if people understand this information or not?

What is going to happen when states have not required restaurants to list the calories on their menus? Is the new law in the health care bill going to trump state laws?


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