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Calorie Counts on Menus

Posted on 07/23/2013

Having calorie counts posted on fast food menus appear to do nothing for those who order such food. The whole reason behind the postings were to curb calories and reduce obesity in this country.

Is it working? Based on a recent study, it appears not to be working for those who visit fast food restaurants. I believe that part of the study is an important one, not to be overlooked. You see, many who visit fast food places, are not interested in healthy foods in the first place. So, was the study set up to produce a certain outcome?

I think this study was skewed a bit to favor fast food restaurants, so to make this practice not look useful to consumers. Who knows, maybe those fast food companies who are still lobbying and fighting this mandate paid it for. They are not happy whatsoever about the postings. And, they have very deep pockets to keep fighting it. This just gave them some ammunition to support their position that the practice of posting calories will not help people make healthier choices and reduce the nation’s waist line.

So, across the board by all media who have picked this story up, it seems “calorie counts on menus don’t work” and so on. That’s somewhat misleading, in fact, if a more accurate cross-section was sampled, say in a variety of restaurants and not just fast food type establishments, then and only then would I truly agree with such a bold and general statement. It’s more accurate to say, “Fast Food Calorie Postings Don’t Work.”

What do you think? Do calorie counts on menus work for you? Do you pay more attention when you know how many calories are in a food before ordering? Does it change the rest of your day’s food intake? Or, do you continue as usual, what you would normally eat before the postings?

It seems to be a hot-button issue right now in much of the county, with people talking on both sides of the issue. Many cite the mandate as being “nanny state” government. Others believe the practice will reduce obesity by providing consumers with information to make an informed decision about the food they put in their bodies. Who’s right? I believe both sides. While I am not an advocate for bigger government by any means, I do believe in providing the public with information so they can make better, healthier choices. In turn, reducing our obesity rates that continue to soar with each passing year.

I’d like to hear from you about what you think about this new study, the practice of posting calories on menus and if it helps or hurts and how to best curb the obesity epidemic in our great country.

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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