HOUSTON - You may notice something new the next time you eat at your favorite fast-food restaurant -- calorie counts on the menus.
It's all part of the new federal health care law and the world's No. 1 hamburger chain announced that starting Monday, it will list every calorie on its menus both inside the restaurants and in drive throughs.
For years, sandwich chains, Subway and Panera Bread have been posting their nutritional information in store for customers to consider before they order.
Next week, McDonald's will follow suit.
Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA said, "We want to voluntarily do this. We believe it will help educate customers. When it's all said and done, the menu mix doesn't change, but I do think people feel better knowing this information."
Local McDonald's owner/operator Daniel Carreon said, "Now that it's up there, hopefully it will be easier making the choices when they're there with their kids and their family members."
The move comes ahead of a national rule requiring restaurants and food outlets with 20 or more locations to clearly post nutritional information.
Carreon explained, "McDonald's saw it as an opportunity to just do it ahead of everyone else, knowing that sooner or later it might be coming. But, our customers were wanting it, so we just did it. So for us all, I think it was the right thing to do at the right time."
McDonald's is also touting its new under-400 calorie items as well.
But does knowing every last calorie and fat gram make a difference when you order?
Houston customer Sunshine Lane said, "Absolutely! (I) just want to eat a healthy meal and when you're on the run and you have to work, that matters."
But another customer said, "I normally cook and when I come out, it's for something I want, not something I need."
Restaurants have until next year to comply, but states like California and New York have already begun posting nutritional information.
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