When Obamacare Is Gone, the Calorie Counts on Menus Will Disappear, Too

The Affordable Care Act required all fast-food chain restaurants to list their calorie counts

You probably didn’t realize this was a provision of Obamacare.

No matter what side of the political aisle you stand on, the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — is a divisive policy. But as Republican-controlled Congress starts the process of totally eliminating the healthcare policy pushed by President Obama, there are a few provisions of the act that most Americans have forgotten about. We’ve gotten used to seeing calorie counts on menus at fast-food and fast-casual chains around the country, but with Obamacare gone, chains won’t be required to post nutritional information.

After being bounced around by the Food and Drug Administration for a few years, a final rule under the Affordable Care Act was passed in late 2014, requiring restaurant chains with more than 20 stores to post calorie counts on menus both in stores and online. The rule passed much easier than state-by-state provisions that attempted to tax sugary drinks (and only passed in a few places).This compliance law just went into effect last month, and now it is in danger of being erased completely.


Although we may see some nutritional information changes when Republicans pull Obamacare totally, there is actually little evidence that shows it would have made a difference in the health of average Americans anyway. A study published in 2015 showed that New Yorkers made similar nutritional choices when faced with calorie counts than when they were in the dark about their dietary choices.