Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Your Face! Calorie Counts are Coming to a City Near You

I am a fan of the calorie counts being posted on menus here in New York City. I think it makes me more aware of the choices I am going to make, stops me from making certain choices, and encourages me to make a healthier or less bad decision.
For example, I went to Crumbs Bakery for my boyfriend's birthday and thought the calorie count listed next to each cupcake was the price of the cupcake. "Over $5 for a cupcake? OH. The cupcake is $3? That is over 500 calories. . ." Which led to the purchase of two cupcakes to split between four people as opposed to four cupcakes. Saved by the calorie count!

I am pleased that with the passing of the Health Care Reform Bill that there is a provision for the listing of nutrition information in restaurants that have more than 20,000 locations (read the article here). Like Chilis and McDonalds. That is calorie counts being posted on menu boards, drive throughs, even vending machines! No longer will you have to buy the product, shudder when you see the calorie count listed on the wrapper, and then shrug because you already purchased the product so you might as well eat it. Why waste money, right?

It is proven that the calorie listings are making people more aware of what they are eating. Just like books like "Fast Food Nation" and documentaries like "Food Inc." are opening the eyes of those who actually buy a movie ticket or purchase a book, calorie counts being in front of the public's face will not allow people to close their eyes and plug their fingers in their ears about what they are feeding themselves and their families any longer.

It's not happening tomorrow, but it's happening soon. In my opinion, it can't come soon enough.

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