Grabbing that large popcorn for the next Avengers? New FDA rules will force theaters to display calorie information on items your order. Yeah, that large soda and popcorn is diet busting. If you need a calorie placard to tell you that the diet has been destroyed, you might want to reevaluate your program.

In addition to foods, prepackaged beer and alcoholic beverages will have to abide by the rules set to take effect in a year. The FDA is aiming to have an impact on the food that Americans consume outside the home. Around a third of all food consumed comes from outside of the kitchen. I’m actually shocked the number is that low. There are people that own kitchens for pure decorative purposes.

The latest rules have been floating about since the signing of the Affordable Care Act. Cue the criticism in 3, 2, 1.

Speaking to the New York Times, Daren Bakst, a Heritage Foundation Fellow, blasted the rules. “No reasonable person is about to confuse a grocery store, convenience store or movie theater with a restaurant.” I don’t know Daren, some theaters are semi-restaurants. Which is awesome, and kinda gross when you think about it.

The National Grocers Association released a statement slamming the rules. “We are disappointed that the FDA’s final rules will capture grocery stores, and impose such a large and costly regulatory burden on our members.” Most grocery stores have a food counter, selling the latest in calorie busting chicken fingers and potato wedges.

If you are a small chain restaurant, less than 20 stores, the new rules do not apply to you. Vending machines will have a year to get into compliance. Machines will have to have placards near the selection button. A king-size snickers is bad for me? Well, damn….

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest hailed the move. “This is one of the most important public health nutrition policies ever to be passed nationally. Right now, you are totally guessing at what you are getting,” Wootan said. “This rule will change that.”

Guessing? That’s the equivalent of calling Americans stupid. No one throws down at Golden Corral’s buffet and strolls out thinking, ‘yep, totally nailed my diet today.’ Maybe I have an overly optimistic view of our fellow American’s ability to know what they are eating.

Does the calorie count help? Sure, but there’s also a number of apps for that.


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