Fast food chains won’t win any awards for being the healthiest option anytime soon, but hey, they’re trying. According to NPR, 66 of the nation’s fast-food chains are planning to, or already have, cut down calories in their menu items. Pizza Hut Skinny Slice, anyone?
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study that compared the calories in restaurant items in 2012 versus 2013. They discovered a 12-percent decline in calories, an average of 60 calories, in some menu items among fast food chains.
Because chain restaurants are required to post calories on their menus in large metropolitan cities, it’s led to a more calorie-conscientious attitude in those areas. Now a federal rule is being finalized which will expand those areas required to report calories.
Sara Bleich, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins, led the study. Bleich notes that the major items (Big Mac, Whopper, etc.) will not have their calories cut. Rather, some of the lesser known or newer items will be on the caloric chopping block. This includes salads, desserts and possibly new low-calorie items.
While 60 calories doesn’t seem like much at first glance, they can go a long way in the overall struggle against obesity.