Starting in the New Year there will be something new on the menu at Ontario restaurants.

Food providers with 20 locations or more in the province will be required to include the calories for each food and beverage item on the menu.

Dietary nutritionist, Rachel Caven, does not promote counting calories, but she does believe this will help with food awareness.

“I think it’s going to help people make better choices if you’re comparing all the different menu items,” Caven said.  

Caven added that it will be up to the customer to use common sense in selecting healthier options such as vegetables.

 Some locations such as Starbucks, the Keg, and D’Arcy McGee’s have already rolled out their new menus featuring a calorie count.

“I think this is a good thing, people can see the calories and decide for themselves,” said Jeff O’Reilly, General Manager at D’Arcy McGee’s on Sparks Street.

Others are skeptical about the idea.

Andrea LaMarre, a PHD candidate at the University of Guelph, believes that not only is there not enough research to prove that this is a helpful tool, but that it could be dangerous for people with eating disorders.

“People who are maybe actively working toward not counting calories or not caring about what is in their food,, so when that is thrown in their face every time in a social setting… it can make it very challenging to eat,” LaMarre said.

Adding the calories amount is part of The Healthy Menu Choices Act.