Fast food chains post calorie counts on menu items

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Finding the healthy choices in a fast food restaurant can be a treacherous task, but some local restaurants are making it easier for health-conscious customers to know just how many calories are in their dinner.

"I think about it for a little bit," said fast food customer Sherril Lutz. "I want to see if it's on the lower calorie side."

McDonald's locations in the Myrtle Beach area have begun posting calorie counts next to all their menu items. The iconic Big Mac comes in at 550 calories. Make it a combo, and that raises the combo up to 930. Nutrition experts say the calories that come from fries and soft drinks, have little nutritional value.

"Empty calories will last five or ten minutes," says nutritionist Kelly Snow. "You'll crash, you'll want more. With empty calories being sugar, you're going to want more of it."

Those empty calories can burn off quickly, provided the person who orders fries lives an active lifestyle.

"All those calories are going to come from sugar, nothing else," Snow said.

But some customers say even with a calorie counting system, they're still ordering whatever they feel like.

"If I want it, I'm getting it," said Pam Walls. "I figure life's short. Eat what you want."

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