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Knowing Nutritional Information Doesn't Always Help

Most of us know what's bad for us, but we eat it anyway—sometimes.

A study done by New York City health officials found 15 percent of customers used the calorie information posted on menus and ordered items with an average of 100 fewer calories. In New York City, restaurant and fast food chains are required to list this information.

If that was a requirement here (it’s been proposed), would you read this information and make more healthy decisions? How about just not going into the joint in the first place?

They should post the nutritional information on the door.

When I first read about this, I thought it was a fine idea. However, most of the food is unhealthy at most of these places. People know it. Will seeing the actual numbers make you pick something lighter? I must admit that when I used to go to McDonald’s, I was going for the double cheeseburger. I knew it had 440 calories and 23 grams of fat. I wanted it. I didn’t care. That’s why I was there in the first place.

I come from a family of “cravers.” My mom craves Big Macs. My dad needs his sausage burrito every morning. Yes, EVERY morning.

They know better.

Those who go to fast food chains on the way to and from activities because it’s convenient know better, too.

I don’t think requiring restaurants and fast food chains to post nutritional information on menus will do anything more than create cutter. I suppose it depends what city we’re talking about, but here, I don’t think it will matter much.

Most of us know it’s bad. The numbers might be shocking at first, but unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should have a pretty good idea that a number one value meal has more calories and fat than should be consumed in one meal. (FYI: With a Coke, it’s got over 1300 calories. That’s only about 700 calories away from the low range of the recommended calorie intake for a man.)

For the others who need the education, it’s available.

Maybe I underestimate people’s willpower. Maybe I don’t have as much faith as I should. Maybe I’m speaking from experience.

Posting the numbers isn’t going to hurt anything, and it might help some, but I won’t applaud any place that counts this as some initiative for a healthier fast food restaurant. The only way to make us healthier is to give more healthy options than unhealthy ones, and alter the unhealthy favorites—like my mother’s Big Mac—to make it more healthy. Make the all the options healthy and save the print.

Millie July 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM
I disagree. I think most of us aren't educated about calories and fat and it will be very helpful. Of course its not the complete answer but its one part of the solution that definitely should be included.
Heidi Dezayas July 30, 2011 at 01:17 PM
If I'm going to an unfamiliar restaurant, I check out the nutritional information online before I pick what I'm going to eat. I've loved it when I've eaten out of town and seen at least the calories posted on the menu! It makes it so much easier. But I do agree that sometimes even that doesn't deter me from getting something I REALLY want :-)
Erin Hill July 31, 2011 at 04:13 PM
I agree a lot of people aren't educated on the nutritional content of their food, but I doubt posting it will lead to healthier choices for most. I do like seeing nutritional info posted, but that's me. I use it. I don't think people who are going into a fast food place are going to use it like I (we) would. They're there for the Big Mac.
Joy Mowry Schwartz August 01, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Like Heidi, I check out nutritional information online. I look at the calories, fat, fiber, and protein. I know that's not the whole picture but when you I'm eating out, it's for the sake of convenience and/or because I'm craving something. I know there are relatively healthy options there but it's not always what I choose even when I have the nutritional information!
Millie August 03, 2011 at 01:31 PM
I went to lunch with co-workers yesterday and it was interesting to see them choose healthy options. All people aren't making healthy choices, but some people are! and I saw it with my own eyes. If it is helping some, that's wonderful!

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