Notice anything different on restaurant menus?

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

If you decided to eat a greasy meal to help cure that New Year’s hang over – you may have noticed something different on the menu.

As of January 1st, large chain restaurants in Ontario have to post the amount of calories in each item on their menus.

Rachael Mather/Public Health: “I think having that information there will help customers make more informed decisions, and with the act being new there is an opportunity for more nutrients to be added.”

The regulations have been implemented as a means to help people make healthier food choices.

Restaurants like Jack Astors are having some fun with the new mandate.

Their updated menus have grouped all of their high calorie items on a page called ‘Don’t tell your trainer’ – and low calorie items in a section called ‘something you can brag about’.

However if you eat in downtown Kingston on a regular basis, you might not be affected as much.

There are more restaurants that don’t fall under these new regulations than those who do.

Only restaurants with more than 20 locations across the province have to post calorie numbers beside each menu item.

Meaning restaurants like this one – don’t have to, at least not yet.

Neil Highet: “It’s something that I believe we’re going to have to do in the future. I think this is the first step. Obviously they’ve exempted small businesses based on the fact that it’s obviously costly.”

But will it actually influence the paying customer?

“When you go out to eat you expect you’re going to eat a steak or something with high calories and when you go home you’re going to eat something healthy.”
“I think that you should know what you’re eating. That information should be provided. But I’m still going to eat a big mac.”
“I guess if you go out, you do want to try to eat healthy. And that will help them.”

And that’s not the only new information Canadians will have to make healthier choices.

Health Canada is also in the process of overhauling the Canada Food Guide, which hasn’t been updated since 2007.

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