Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why We Need Calorie Counts on Menus

I've been eagerly awaiting the new law to go into effect that requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menu items.

In fact, I'd like to see the law expanded. I would love it if movie theatres posted how many calories were in the pop-corn, nachos and other "goodies" they served.

I'd like to see this information for a couple of reasons. First, I really want to know how many calories are in something before I order it. Second, I'm hoping that once restaurants, etc. have to start posting calorie counts, they may actually put some authentic low calorie options on their menus for those of us trying to lose or maintain weight loss.

What gets me upset, in particular, is the "bait and switch" chain restaurants pull when it comes to "salads." The whole purpose of ordering "salad" is generally to watch one's weight. I mean, am I wrong here?????? Do people order them for any other reason????

So why then, do I have to read something like this article (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/eatthis/6-salads-worse-whopper) that basically tells me that you're often better off eating a Whopper, rather than a salad at a chain restaurant???

I'm sorry, but a "salad" should not contain 1,485 calories. Since I can only eat 1,600 calories a day to maintain my weight, I shouldn't have to worry about blowing most of my daily allotment on a salad.

And, I shouldn't have to guess at what the calorie count is going to be prior to ordering. It's already the law in New York City to post calorie counts, and I've really appreciated it when I've eaten in those restaurants. What's particularly interesting is that there are now always a few options that have acceptable calorie counts.

So the law obviously works.


  1. I know what you mean. Often the chicken meals are less healthy than other options. And don't get me started on Quiznos tuna melt. I would have never dreamed a fish sandwich could be so bad for me!

  2. Yes and no. The law works, but the posted calories are an estimate based on averages of the meal eaten. An example is a 16 ounce ribeye steak. The posted calories for the grilled steak are 525 calories. All good, and eat away. After this is cooked, to present it to you, the cook/chef will pour butter, or place a few pats of butter on top of the steak for flavor and to create the Au Jus. 4 Tablespoons of butter will do the trick, and add only 500 additional calories. Oops, and no one told anyone at all.. Happens to chicken and fish also. I own a restaurant in NYC, sorry....

  3. Makes eating out no fun any more!! Thats for sure!

  4. I get so torn though as so many studies have shown what the counts say isnt accurate anyway!

    hard to know...


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