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McDonald's, Chipotle, Arby's and 63 Other Chains Are Cutting Calories

In advance of a proposed federal mandate to list calorie counts, chains are slimming down.

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Not only are restaurants trimming down the number of items on their menus, they are also cutting down the number of calories in many of their dishes. According to NPR, a new study shows that on average, American chain restaurants have shaved around 60 calories off of "new menu items in 2013." The study took a look at 19,000 menu items served at the nation's largest chains, including the likes of Panera, IHOP, Chipotle, McDonald's, and Arby's.

Sara Bleich — a health policy researcher who led the study — tells NPR that this is not surprising: New rules have popped up in cities like New York that require chains to post calorie counts on menus which has "led to more calorie consciousness." A new federal rule that will "expand calorie-positing nationwide" also most likely inspired companies to alter their menus. The study notes that chains are not shaving calories off of their "signature menu items." Rather, they are introducing new items with lower calorie counts.

This could explain why Pizza Hut decided to begin testing a "Skinny Slice" pie last month in Ohio and Florida. The "healthier" pie means that each piece has 300 calories or less. Domino's also recently launched a "healthy" pizza dubbed "Smart Slice" which is now available in some schools.


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