Athletic-Minded Traveler’s Blog delves into all things active and healthy. Here you can find recipes, training advice, “best of” lists, travel tips, yoga insight and more.

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Ignorance is NOT bliss. Get healthy with knowledge. Yum is doing it.

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill requiring chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts and other key nutrition data on menus AND indoor menu boards by 2011. California is the first state to implement this requirement. New York City passed a similar law in April.

Many restaurants already provide information on their web sites, but having the info front and center while ordering is a BIG change--and one we applaud. In fact YUM Brands which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut will start the process now with the goal of having it completed for all 20,000+ locations by 2011.

One of the best ways to get healthy is to understand what you are putting into your body. That is not to say, you need to give up all the good stuff. But when making food choices knowing that Au Bon Pain's Dijon Albacore Tuna sandwich delivers 450 calories versus the 880 calorie bomb Clam Chowder bread bowl is helpful (source: Men's Health).

So while some in the restaurant business may bristle at the effort and costs to provide nutrition information, we think the benefits are significant. Consumers often underestimate the calories and fat they are ingesting. For example while Arby's provides nutrition facts on their web site, how many people actually consult the data before ordering? And who would guess that a simple roast turkey and swiss market fresh sandwich packs over 700 calories and 1,677 mg sodium? WOW! And guess what, the mayo only accounts for 100 of those calories. The calorie culprit is the bread--361 calories and 782 mg sodium. If this information was in the store, one might opt for something else. There are plenty of options under 500 calories (Ham and Swiss melt, Arby's Melt, Chicken Club Salad).

The point simply being that making better choices requires having accurate and reliable information. Sort of like when you travel and need a hotel, lap pool, yoga studio, restaurant or running route. That is what we're about here at Athletic-Minded Traveler--arming travelers with information so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle wherever you go!

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