In an interesting twist of events, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has added an unexpected entry to its menu. In line with the idea of healthy living, the world’s biggest hamburger chain has revealed that it will include the number of calories in its burgers and fries on all menus in its restaurants.

Mcdonald's

The change will be effective as of Monday next week and will cut across all McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) in the country. The president and CEO of the fast food heavyweight, Jan Fields, noted that the move was voluntary and self-inspired. “We believe it help educate customers,” remarked an enthusiastic Fields.

The calorie information will not only be posted on the restaurant menus but will also grace drive-thru menus throughout the country.

Fields however, notes that this addition will not in any way change customer’s selection. “When it’s all said and done the menu mix doesn’t change,” she added. Fields was keen to express her interest in the initiative, remarking that consumers were better off knowing the information.

This move mounts pressure on competitors like Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), both of which are big names in the fast food industry.

Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW), to be particular, will be under the public microscope. This is so, because it recently made a comeback to the public market and investors are keen to follow and analyze any operational moves that it makes. Fortunately, its comeback to the market was characterized by a bullish start, as it managed to attract many consumers with its expanded menu, that included a wide variety of healthy selections.

The trend of posting calorie information is part of a bigger campaign to create awareness about healthy eating. It has already picked momentum in cities like Philadelphia and New York, and restaurants in these areas post calorie information.

In fact, this trend is an outgrowth of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul. The healthcare overhaul has a regulation that compels chain restaurants with more than 20 units to include calorie information in their menus.

Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, was encouraged by the move. She noted that the idea of posting calorie information, although not magical, was instrumental in reducing obesity in the long run.

Interestingly, Wootan may be right. The information will not only influence people to make better decisions, but companies will also be compelled to settle for healthier options lest the risk losing their customers.