The NYC Department of Health has just debuted the ambitious but generically named MenuStat, an online repository for the nutritional information of more than 35,000 items from 66 of the country's largest fast-food restaurants — read it and you may no longer be able to ignore, for example, that there are 610 calories in every order of Chipotle's chips with red tomatillo salsa. But will a data-set-driven website help restaurant customers make healthier choices?
Research already indicates, after all, that people don't care much about calorie counts, even when the information's literally right in front of them, so it remains to be seen how many people will bother with the URL and search function here. But because it includes menu-item data from chains that are never coming to NYC (Zaxby's, Bojangles, In-N-Out), the site not only goes to show that public-health initiatives like Bloomberg's calorie-count plans still loom large, but they also extend well beyond the five boroughs.
Health Dept. launches fat-o-meter site [NYP]
MenuStat [Official Site]
Related: Calorie Counts Probably Don’t Make a Huge Difference to Fast-Food Customers