If you’re one of those people who grumbled when chain restaurants were first required by law to list calories and other nutritional information next to their menu items, prepare to grumble anew.
The FDA has decreed that starting in May, you will no longer be able to quaff down your favorite alcoholic beverage guilt-free. Chains like Applebee’s and TGI Fridays will be required to furnish calorie counts for cocktails, wine, and beer.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
It’s the first time restaurants across the country will be required to list the caloric content of alcoholic beverages, though some outlets in states like New York and California already do so. In an industry where calories have been a relative mystery, the federal rule — which applies to chains with 20 or more outlets — will provide a new level of transparency about the often-overlooked calories in alcohol.
Public health advocates are hopeful that the requirement will both raise awareness but induce drinkers to cut back.
“If you don’t want to get the 400 calories from an alcoholic beverage, you can easily swap for free water,” said Margo G. Wootan, vice president for nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer-advocacy group that lobbied the FDA to include alcoholic drinks in the new rules. [Emphasis added]
Easy for her maybe. When I’m dining out, wine is an indispensable part of the meal. Italians even have a slogan that goes “Un pranzo senza vino e come un giorno senza sole.” Translation: A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.
Then again, I’ve never awakened with a nasty hangover the morning after a day at the beach!