Americans are about to learn a whole lot more about how many calories they're consuming — in every bag of movie-theater popcorn, every chain-restaurant sandwich and every theme-park turkey leg.
Under a new Obamacare requirement, all chain restaurants with 20 or more locations will have to post calorie contents on their menus. The final regulations came out in November 2014, and restaurants will have to come into compliance within the next year.
We're about to learn that some things we really like to eat — and might even think of as relatively healthy — are actually pretty bad for us. Take the virtuous sounding grilled turkey sandwich at Chili's. It has 1,350 calories, more than half of what an adult is supposed to consume in a given day. Or take the tomato soup bread bowl at Corner Bakery (my go-to, rainy day lunch). It has an astounding 1,360 calories — the bread bowl being responsible for 1,040 of said calories. RIP bread-bowl lunches. Hello sad, lonely tomato soup.
We've pulled together some of the most surprising calorie counts that will start to turn up on menus beginning next year. And we've expressed them in terms of McDonald's cheeseburgers. A medium movie theater popcorn (1,610 calories) is equivalent to five-and-a-half McDonald's cheeseburgers (290 calories apiece). This is all to drive home the point: many of the things we think of as healthy just aren't.
If you want to figure out how many cheeseburgers your favorite food amounts to, you can do that with this nifty calculator we built. Type in a calorie count, and you'll find out how many cheeseburgers you could eat for the same amount of energy.