PHILADELPHIA. Since the dawn of time — or at least the day the first artery-clogging cheesesteak came off the grill of a lunch cart in South Philly — Philadelphia has constantly been ranked among America’s fattest cities.
But when chain restaurants and retail food establishments start listing calorie counts next Monday thanks to a law passed by City Council last year, will eating habits actually change?
“The general belief is that people see the numbers and experience sticker shock where they are quite surprised by how many calories are in the foods and they get especially surprised by the relative calories in food,” said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.
But some say they already know what they’re eating isn’t the best for them and don’t expect to change their habits.
“No, it tastes too good to stop eating,” said Leah Gonsales, a student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
The law will not apply to mom and pop restaurants because the process to test and analyze each dish is not feasible, experts say.
Still, managers of chain restaurants say they’re not concerned that the new law will run customers away.
“I actually think it’s going to help business a little bit because we do list some nutritional information” said James Ceravolo, general manager at a Center City Subway. “It could be a positive, but not a negative.”