Louisville Metro Government is putting together a program to add calorie counts to restaurant menus.
The Department of Health and Wellness is using about 500 thousand dollars of a nearly 8 million dollar federal grant to hire at least four dieticians and chefs. The new staff will work with restaurants to figure out how many calories are in certain items. The program is voluntary, and coordinator Marigny Bostock says the grant will pay for restaurants to update their menus.
“It could be, on average, about $1,500 per restaurant,” she says. “It just depends on if we need to get a whole new menu board or if it’s just reprinting paper menus or just simply adding a magnet with a calorie count if they have a magnetic board.”
Bostock expects the first updated menus to appear in the spring. The national health care overhaul requires restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post calorie information. The local program targets smaller chains and individual restaurants. It’s among several anti-obesity programs that will be funded with the federal grant.