Counting calories is the scourge of just about anyone who has ever wanted to drop a few pounds. All it takes is a couple of minutes perusing the caloric information to realize why you need to drop a few pounds. That information is required on packaged food sold at the grocery stores. The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that similar information be made available to consumers on menus provided by grocery store delis and chain restaurants.

Those new guidelines were supposed to go into effect this year. They will not. The FDA just announced a push back until at least 2017 on this new ruling. While that might give those in the food service industry a little more time to prepare their menus, many health officials believe that calorie information is needed now.

It is really a valuable tool. When we have classes for our participants, we will often talk about the best way to prepare for going out to eat is to know what you’re going to get in advance.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center Professor Dr. Catherine Champagne made those comments in a story published by the Louisiana Radio Network. Dr. Champagne says for those watching calories doing your homework ahead of a meal out is a great way to make healthier choices.

When asked about what changes the adding of calorie information to menus might have consumers Dr. Champagne remarked,

I think it will make a difference in what people eat when people are concerned about what they eat and unfortunately that’s not 100% of the population.

The biggest reason for the delay in the implementation of the new rules the fact that restaurant menus change frequently. The FDA has not decided on an accurate and concise plan to help establishments stay within the federal guidelines while still maintaining a variety in their day to day service.