Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Today's special is two thousand calories
…Mary Beth Faller, writing in the Arizona Repubic (Nov 28, 2006), tackled New York’s idea of printing calorie counts on menus.
…Of course, even that proposal was limited—to those who already provide such info on a website or tucked out of sight on a wall board.
…You won’t be seeing “foie gras, 550 calories a bite.”
…Along with it is an order for NY eateries to nix the transfat. That one is probably a good idea.
…Besides NY, 14 states have bills in the works to require restaurants to disclose nutritional info.
…As her regular readers know, HA has slight tolerance for national nannies, bossy cows, know-it-all legislators, and that Arkansas pol with the bug eyes who talks about his weight loss.
…Would it amaze you to learn that she is not totally opposed to listing calories on a menu?
…Not everyone agrees. Opponents say 90 million people would not know what to make of this info—which would include all nutritional information, not just calories. Even people with an HS education, who can read, are health illiterates, one authority noted.
…Different ethnic groups would treat the info differently. One source said African-Americans may note fat content but are also interested in taste.
…Such listings would lead to guilt…people see the calories but eat it anyway.
…On the plus side, if they had to list some ginormous calorie count, would a restaurant notch back the butter or cream?
…Children’s menu listings might cause parents to give kids a Diet Coke instead of milk.
…People might quit going to a restaurant. They could always stay home under the covers eating Oreos.
…In a story on the same subject in the NYT (Dec 13, 2006), TV chef Mario Batali said thought people were more worried about whether the food contained deadly bacteria. (Now that you mention it, Mario…)
…Another restaurant owner said only 7% of diners count calories.
….Well, then, they should know the Blooming Onion at Outback contains 1,800 of the things.
…Never mind, just bring HA an ice water.
…Listing cals would probably provide a really boring conversation but not change much.