Warning: When I read this, I became a little mad. Maybe it was because Daylight Savings Time has disrupted my sleeping patterns. Or maybe my gut tells me that this plan will needlessly cost fast food restaurants time and money, which they in turn will pass on to the people who frequent them.
In short, Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah wants chain restaurants to post on menu boards how many calories each item contains.
For what purpose? He explained to his fellow House members about the habits of average Americans this way. “American adults buy a meal or a snack from a restaurant five times per week on average and spend 48 percent of their food budget on food away from home, almost $1,078 per person annually. Unfortunately, we have also seen the toll diseases such as obesity and diabetes have taken on society.”
I am furious at the thought that these people, who most likely won’t step foot into a fast-food place, want to add more intrusion of the federal government into the operation of private businesses. Is there a public outcry for such a thing? If so, then restaurant owners will respond by putting this information on the menu board, or else the public will vote with their wallets and eat elsewhere. But an act of congress to interfere, costing every restaurant money to comply, just because someone thinks it sounds like a good idea?! Very bad idea. The return on investment will not accomplish a thing toward making people eat healthier.And where does it stop? Will we require listing cholesterol, fat, and sodium next? How big will these boards have to get?
2 thoughts on “I’ll take the Number 5 meal for 1010, Supersize-it for 300 more!”
At the Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland, they made a switch to serving fruit (grapes or apple slices) with their burgers. In small print, it says “Fries available upon request.” But the new default is fruit.
That is their choice to “go healthy,” but I’m glad they kept the option there for me. I noticed that a lot of people around me didn’t see the small print, and were bringing back their fruit to get fries though.
Kind of related, but not really. But it is about Disneyland, so it has to apply in a universal sort of relationship to everything!
Calories really are just a tiny piece of the big picture when it comes to determining whether or not to consume a food item. People who are truly concerned with how many calories they’re consuming in their favorite restaurant fare are probably also concerned about the sodium, fat, cholesterol, carb, etc, content. Many restaurants go above and beyond on their websites, listing fairly detailed nutrition information (there are a few restaurants that refuse to disclose any nutrition info – but I believe these are mostly sit-down-and-eat places with over-sized portions).
Calories on menu board will tell a person nothing about how many days’ sodium and fat they may be getting in their super-duper sized greasy-deep-fat fried meal. You also have to watch out for those seemingly “healthy” options on a menu that can be just as unhealthy as the big ‘ol burger and fries value meal. Calories or no calories on the menu board, it will always be up to the consumer to use their best judgement.