This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Counting Calories – New Rules by FDA

Just in time to help with your new year’s resolutions, compliments of the FDA. Recently the Food and Drug Administration announced new calorie labeling rules.

These rules apply to any retail establishments with 20 or more locations and require them to post the calorie content of food on menus, menu boards and displays. Soon restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, bakeries, coffee shops and even amusement parks will have to comply with these regulations.

“Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home, and people today expect clear information about the products they consume,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

So what can we expect from this change?

The next time you’re ordering fast food you can compare calories on the menu board, such as calories from a grilled chicken vs. a crispy chicken.

Mc1

Or when you’re at a bakery you can compare the calories of a mini sparkle doughnut to a classic glazed old-fashioned donut.

Doughnut

And, the next time you order popcorn at the movie theater get ready to know the truth about how many calories you’re about to consume (what do you expect from all the added melted butter anyway??)

Popcorn

So if you want to know the nitty-gritty on calories then look for the labels and well, if you don’t, then just look at the food pictures and order away.

New York City was the first state in the country to put a calorie posting law in place. Several restaurant chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks are already putting calorie labels on menu boards and on their websites. Based on the new FDA regulations, companies have until November 2015 to comply.