Do calorie counts on the menu sway food choices?

When you go to grab a burger, drink or snack at just about any popular restaurant chain these days, you also get information that could sway your choices.

The calorie counts are right there on the menu.

"If it's a thousand calories for a burger and fries, I'm not going there," said consumer, Diane Wakeman.

"It influences a little bit because you don't want to get something with too many calories," said another consumer, Paul Youngblood.

Registered dietitian, Sarah Krieger, said it's even opened her eyes.

"It makes you rethink," said Krieger. "I have even thought, 'Wow, that's higher than I thought."

For those who prefer takeout to cooking, that transparency can help you stay on track. 

"Eating out you're most likely going to be eating more calories than you do at home. It is one tool in the toolbox that they can use," said Krieger.

Some restaurants offer more detailed nutritional information online. Krieger said that could actually be more important.  

"A lot of people get obsessed with calories, but look at the sodium and look at the saturated fat as a nation," she explained. "We have a lot of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure."

But calories aren't swaying everyone. One recent scientific study discovered only a little over 50 percent of participants noticed calorie information on menus. Of those 28 percent said they didn't use it in deciding what to order.

"I can tell if it looks fattening or if it looks healthy," said consumer Jenna Keely. 

"I go for what I want and the taste," said another consumer, Barbara Youngblood.

Sometimes you just indulge. Krieger said that's okay -- but in moderation.

"I've had people say, 'Yeah, I know how much is in there.' Maybe balance that out with something else the rest of the day," she advised.