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Restaurant chains to comply with new FDA rules; adding calorie counts to menus

(WKEF/WRGT) -- Major restaurant chains are quickly changing menus, getting ready for a new FDA rules that will force them to add calorie counts to every item.

Companies say the new rule is expensive and excessive, now they're asking the Trump administration to step in and overturn the regulations.

Restaurants, breweries, and grocery stores with 20 plus locations will be required to list calories for every item served.

“I won't confess to reading all 400 pages of it, but to me it's complicated,” Peter Wylie with Rapid Fire Pizza said.

Wylie says locally owned Rapid Fired Pizza is working to adapt.

They’re getting new menus ready for when they expand their operation later this year.

“We will have hundreds of hours into counting calories, adding them all up,” Wylie said.

The inconvenience is one thing, costs are another.

Some chains estimate printing will cost thousands extra each year.

“The digital stuff is great, because we can update that on the fly, but there are some internal things that will be a little more cumbersome,” Wylie said.

The new rules are part of Obamacare, aimed at fighting obesity and other health problems.

But the restaurant industry says it's overkill, some customers agree.

“I'm sure there's a lot of people like myself, where it doesn't matter, we want what we want on our pizza and we get what we want,” Nick Miranda said.

Others applaud the move, wishing the FDA would take it one step further with portion sizes.

“To know how much to eat instead of just calories would be helpful,” Andy Mahadzir said.

Congress may be the first to step in.

Right now there's a replacement bill in the Senate. It would allow carryout restaurants to be exempt from listing calories.

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