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A Trump appointee finally made restaurants publish calorie counts—just like Obama wanted

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Thanks, Trump.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Many have already been there: You stand in line for an order of fries only to get to the counter, see a sign about nutritional facts noting that said fries contain more than a day’s worth of calories—and opt for a salad instead.

Starting today, this experience is about to become far more common in the United States. Restaurants, concession stands, and grocery stores across the country are now officially required to post the calorie counts of their foods and beverages. Some large chains, such as McDonald’s or Panera, had already implemented the rule; now any food-service chain with at least 20 outlets will have to comply.

An Obama-era regulation aimed at reducing US obesity rates, the rule was originally posted by the FDA in December 2014. Thanks to Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) commissioner, the requirement survived a larger effort to slash governmental regulations and limit intervention between businesses and customers.

Gottlieb says that nutritional fact transparency is not a partisan issue—and that many Republicans see the importance of informing customers about the food they purchase.

President Donald Trump, who promised to cut two existing regulations for every new one passed, is a fan of fast food. Reports on his eating habits suggest he routinely exceeds the recommended daily caloric intake for a man his age, despite favored outlets like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken having already made nutritional facts available.

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