JONESBORO, ARE (KAIT) - It's that sometimes haunting number on the menu that's getting people to choose alternatives and this time it's not the price that's discouraging.
Fast food chains like McDonalds and Chick-fil-a have already begun to post calories. Starting next week, Starbucks will put calories on their menu boards for everything from drinks to pastries.
"I think it will be good to have it on there just for the fact that people are aware of what they're eating," said Customer Adam Freeman. "Personally, I don't have those restrictions so I don't think it's going to change my opinion."
However, for others the number of calories might have more of an effect on what they decide to order.
"Generally, it would scare me off," said Customer Pam Hyneman. "I won't have the latte and a scone, I may have a black coffee and a scone."
She said calories on the menu are very important. After finding out how many calories she was taking in from her daily Starbucks trips, sometimes twice in one day, It was clear to her why she was gaining weight even with exercise.
"Well it was my lattes and I would start out with just a latte and then a latte and a scone and then a latte and one of those chocolate graham cracker things," said Pam. "Then I became aware of it.
Her Husband Hal said calories wouldn't stop him from eating at certain places but it might sway his decision on what he would order.
"I think I might be better off with item A versus item B because it's got fewer calories in it," said Hal.
He believes all restaurants should show calories so that people can be mindful of what they are eating.
"One of the largest problems we have here in this country is obesity and health care cost, it all plays together so absolutely I think they ought to do that," said Hal.
Some national chains already put calorie information on their menu but several others are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize guidelines. They plan for the regulation to take effect sometime next year.