Live in New York and there is no dodging the calorie bullet if you choose to eat outside your home. Calorie counts are coming to a fast food joint near you and you will now know the true caloric folley of your ways. Decide to have that piece of cheesecake after a calorie heavy meal and you will know how many hours of exercise that meal plus dessert will cost you. The new rules are part of an anti-obesity campaign that also included a recent ban on trans fats in restaurant food in New York.
If your local food chain refuses to comply it will cost them a $2000 fine and of course, you knowing that they don't want you to be a "calorically informed customer." Now why wouldn't the makers of the Big Mac want you to know that if that's your lunch of choice it will cost you 1130 calories (if you include a medium fries and soda). That's more than half your day's total calories in one meal + a whopping dose of sodium, sugar and fat. Isn't it a good thing to stare calorie reality in its face?? Certainly health experts and some government officials feel that an "informed eater is a forewarned eater" and the knowledge staring you in your face BEFORE you order your food could mean a shift in your food choices and a positive impact on the obesity epidemic. But of course, tabulating calories and creating new menus with the information cost $$$, lots and lots of $$$s. And all these companies have known for months that it's time to start phasing in these new menus with calorie counts. Currently, only chains with more than 15 locations that serve standardized food selections in standardized portion sizes have to comply. That's just about 2500 restaurants in New York.
I still find it hard to believe that most consumers DON'T KNOW that a Cinnabon will cost them calories big time (890 to be precise); or that a "Dunkin Donuts jelly donut" is 270 calories fat? On the other hand, will a mom with screaming children stop to read calorie counts before she hastens to buy the very food that will quiet them down?? My hope is that parents will start to realize exactly how much junk they are serving their kids in the name of food that's readily available and then apply those same observations to their own waistline. My hope is that "to be better informed will achieve to be more aware and more willing to make better choices for our health." That is my hope - now what do you think??
Should this be a nationwide mandate?? Would it make a difference to you or your family??
Published On: July 24, 2008