Ignorance is Bliss: We’ll Have to Wait Longer for Calorie Counts on Menus

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REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Sometimes it sure is nice not knowing. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to help keep us all in the dark when it comes to calorie intake at restaurants. Maybe this is just the FDA’s way of treating us all with kid gloves. Or, maybe they’re just scared of our eye-popping—and gut-expanding—reaction to the new rule that requires restaurants with at least 20 chains to post calories on menus.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of what the world eats)

The FDA whiffed on its first deadline last week explaining to restaurants how it must post the calorie counts, although an earlier primer hints to expect nice big, bold type right up there where you can’t miss it.

As part of the 2010 health care reform bill (the logic must be that if we know what we are eating, maybe we’ll stop eating it), the FDA needs to come through on these rules. Apparently they’re tough to figure out.

The FDA says it’s “acutely aware of the complexity of the new law and that both consumers and the food industry may need additional guidance and time in order to comply with these provisions.”

The agency further says it expects only a “short delay” and stays committed to helping the public get clear and simple information about the food they buy. Perfect. Soon we can all see that the McDonald’s deluxe breakfast with a large biscuit, but minus the syrup and margarine, is 1,140 calories. And that Burger King Triple Whopper with cheese? Yup, you guessed it. Just 1,230 calories? Remember, an average bloke needs about 2,000 calories a day. We all may need calculators to keep up with what we really eat. Yeah, NewsFeed sees why the FDA has delayed announcing the new rules, since restaurants must be ordering extra numbers to put on their menus.

(More on Time.com: Getting real about the high price of cheap food)