Nutritional information on restaurant menus empowers consumers to make healthy food choices
In case you hadn''t noticed, we have an obesity problem in this country. And while the responsibility for each person''s body weight is ultimately up to that person, it certainly helps to have better information made available to consumers. Obesity is basically about eating too much while not expending enough caloric energy. And one of the primary sources of hidden calories in the diet of Americans is fast food. A Big Mac has something like 1200 calories in it. Given that the average person only needs 2200 calories a day, that one Big Mac is a whopping serving of extra energy (which will, undoubtedly, end up hanging around poor Joe''s waistline). To their credit, McDonalds publishes the caloric content of their foods. If you ask for it at any McDonalds restaurant, they''ll hand you a nutrition facts sheet. But a lot of restaurants have no such policy, and they make no nutritional information available to their customers. Herein lies the problem: restaurant foods are typically loaded with calories in places you might not suspect. That''s because they''re prepared with far more oil and sugar than people would use if they baked the foods on their own. If you require basic nutritional information on restaurant menus, such as grams of fat and total calories, you''ll empower consumers with the information they need to make informed dietary choices. That''s good for consumers: especially people who are trying to lose weight. If you''re on a diet, you simply have to know what you''re eating. And presently, that means avoiding restaurants altogether. The National Restaurant Association, of course, hates the idea of adding nutritional information to menus. It''s not hard to imagine why: once people learn how many grams of fat and calories are actually contained in each menu item, they''ll probably leave the restaurant in shock. In addition, there''s the added cost of reprinting all the menus and, inevitably, coming up with lighter menu items that calorie-conscious people can choose. And that''s the whole point, actually: by forcing restaurants to operate in plain sight, consumer demand will result in those restaurants altering their menus to sell more healthful items. It''s a great system that relies on the free market and the free flow of information, not government mandates, to help people make healthier food choices. In the end, however, the restaurant industry isn''t about health. It''s about profit. And informing customers about how fat they''re going to get by eating a side order of eggrolls is simply not in the interests of restaurant owners. So they''re going to fight this all the way. But you can make a different, of course. Contact your representatives in Wsahington and let them know you support legislation requiring restaurants to list fat and calories on their menus.
- A group popularly known as the "food police" is hot on the trail of fast-food restaurants, demanding that calorie counters be added to menus of big chain operators.
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest, known for its exposés on popcorn butter and Chinese food, has joined up with members of Congress to introduce a bill requiring restaurant chains to list on their menus the calorie content of their food.
- The labeling would include listing calories, saturated plus trans fat and sodium on printed menus and calories on menu boards.
- Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is planning to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
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About the author:
Author Mike Adams is a holistic nutritionist with over 4,000 hours of study on nutrition, wellness, food toxicology and the true causes of disease and health. He is well versed on nutritional and lifestyle therapies for weight loss and disease prevention / reversal. View Adams'' health statistics showing LDL cholesterol of 67 and outstanding blood chemistry. Adams uses no prescription drugs whatsoever and relies exclusively on natural health, nutrition and exercise to achieve optimum health. Adams'' books include the Seven Laws of Nutrition, The Five Soft Drink Monsters and Superfoods For Optimum Health. In his spare time, Adams engages in pilates, cycling, strength training, gymnastics and comedy improv training. In the technology industry, Adams is president and CEO of a well known email marketing software company.
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