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Adding calorie counts on menus might make Americans eat better — but not in the way you’d think

Calorie counts on restaurant menus, required in just a few cities until now, will soon be mandatory nationwide.

Starting in May, the government will make nearly all businesses that serve food — from sit-down and take-out restaurants to bowling alleys and movie theaters — to say how many calories are in their menu items.

The idea is simple enough: Make the information available, advocates say, and consumers will eat smarter and be healthier. There’s a problem, though: It might not help. Research suggests that most people don’t choose lighter meals after seeing calorie information on menus. Many consumers don’t even notice it.

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