A new website launched by the city this week allows New Yorkers to compare nutritional facts from their favorite restaurants before leaving home. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
City health officials say nearly a third of the calories New Yorkers take in comes from eating out, rather than preparing meals at home.
"It's more convenient at lunchtime just running out and getting something to eat," said one New Yorker.
The New York City Department of Health and Hygiene launched MenuStat.org on Thursday and lets people compare the nutritional content of 35,000 common menu items offered by 66 national chains - from Dunkin Donuts to McDonald's to TGI Friday's.
Click on "burgers" for example, and the ingredient you're interested in, say, fat or sodium, and see how much there is in a McDonald's burger versus Wendy's.
And now that some chains boast healthier menus, New Yorkers can compare an item's nutritional content from a certain restaurant between 2012 and 2013. For example, did that chain actually reduce sodium or sugar levels when they said they would?
Many people who spoke with NY1 applauded the website.
"It would be very helpful and very quick to make your planning for your meals especially lunch at the office or during the day," said one New Yorker.
"I travel for work weekly yes I do have to stop at a Subway or Quiznos and I'd be curious to see which is more nutritionally beneficial," said another New Yorker.
Others said it may work for their friends but not themselves.
"I don't eat at fast food restaurants," said one New Yorker.
Others choose to spend time and energy cooking every meal at home, like one woman says she does for her three kids.
"Let's just say I get five hours of sleep a night," she said.
Statistics on Menustat.org are only available for 2012 and 2013 from those restaurants categorized as being in the top 100 by sales and which made the data available for those years.