McDonald’s restaurants in the United States will soon get a new menu addition: the number of calories in the chain’s burgers and fries.
The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced today that it will post calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide starting Monday. But the four Lawrence-area restaurants will have new menus Thursday.
Customers will know that ordering a Big Mac and medium fries, for example, will add up to 920 calories. Add a 16-ounce Coca-Cola and the count rises to 1,140 calories.
The move comes ahead of a regulation that could require major chains to post the information as early as next year.
“We want to voluntarily do this,” said Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA. “We believe it will help educate customers.”
In cities such as New York and Philadelphia where posting calorie information is already required, however, Fields notes that the information has not changed what customers choose to order.
“When it’s all said and done, the menu mix doesn’t change,” she said. “But I do think people feel better knowing this information.”
The decision to post calorie information in the U.S. follows the Supreme Court’s decision this summer to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which includes a regulation that would require restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post calorie information. The timetable for carrying out that requirement is being worked out.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.