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Starbucks to post calories on menu boards

If you head into your local Starbucks on Tuesday, you’ll see calorie counts listed on the menu boards — and may be shocked to see just how many calories you’re drinking in your favorite Frappuccino or iced latte.

Starbucks recently announced plans to post calorie information for its beverages on menu boards at all stores operated by the company ahead of a federal law requiring them to do so sometime in the next year or two. (The US Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t issued its final regulation on this, so it’s not clear when chain restaurants will have to comply.)

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In posting calorie counts on its menu board of beverages and next to breads and pastries in its glass cases, Starbucks joins McDonald’s and other restaurant chains who have already posted their calories on menus in an effort to be more transparent.

Whether this will actually change customers’ food and beverage selections remains to be seen. Studies have had conflicting findings on how much influence menu postings have on what a person orders.

Certainly some health-conscious folks will be less inclined to order a 16-ounce grande size caramel Frappuccino if they know it contains 410 calories and 15 grams of fat; that iced grande Caffè Americano at 15 calories might seem far more appealing.

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