While some restaurants in states like California have already posted the calorie count for all items on the menu, the Food and Drug Administration is taking the initiative nationwide.
By 2012, any restaurant with 20 or more locations is expected to be required to post a calorie count for every menu item they sell.
As a result, restaurants are anticipating some of their favorite dishes won't be as appetizing once customers learn they are packed with more than 1,500 calories a serving.
Instead, they are re-evaluating what they sell and attempting to cut calories from their food to make it more desirable, as well as balancing out their high-calorie menu items with healthier options.
IHOP, for example, took its standard bacon-and-eggs breakfast, with 1,160 calories, and developed a version with turkey bacon and egg whites that has just 350 calories.
Panera Bread has made a similar effort to reduce the amount of calories in their food by switching to low-fat cheeses, using less oil, less sauce, less sour cream, as well as highlighting half-orders for sandwiches and soup.
As a result, the company developed a 300-calorie salad and dropped a breakfast sandwich's calorie count from 650-calories to 350!
While this probably won't ward off TOO MANY people's appetites for favorites like buffalo wings, outrageous nachos, or juicy steaks, it is at least forcing restaurants to offer healthier options and informing their customers of what they are really consuming.
[Image via AP Images.]