Will calorie counts on menus make a difference in your diet?

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Will calorie counts on menus make a difference in your diet? Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on May 15, 2018. (WPVI)

It's easier to find out how many calories you're eating while dining out now, no matter where you go because it's now a national requirement for chain restaurants to post calorie counts.

But will it make a difference?

A recent study shows only about half of people in restaurants notice the calorie information when it's listed.

Psychologists say when they do, it's typically only the high calorie options that sway peoples' decision. They may choose a smaller portion or a look for a lower calorie option.

The hope is it will get more people to be mindful and choose healthier foods, but only time will tell if it will have a lasting impact.

"What is likely to happen is that it's going to open up more conversation, so were going to have a lot more awareness and discussion about foods were being served, how we make decisions, why we make those decisions and how to eat them in a more mindful way," said Dr. Susan Albers, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

There is some concern that the calorie count can negatively impact people who've struggled with an eating disorder. Dr. Albers says if so, people should meet with a health professional to come up with a strategy to deal with the new calorie labels

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