Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Calorie counts on menus--FAIL

"Give me that whatever...the 600 one."
Aaron E. Carroll, NYT, Nov 30, 2015, reminds us that we are very overweight--blah blah.

Oh, the powers that be have tried SO HARD to help us change. A while back, they decided we did not know which foods were caloric. Thus evolved the "calorie counts on menus" idea.

By the end of next year, these will be required on the menus of all chain places.

They looked at some restaurants who posted counts and some that did not. The ones that posted had items with 139  average calories less. Did this mean posting made them make lower cal food? No--they concluded--it just meant the ones with lower cal food wanted to post.

Then they looked at Walmart's healthier food deal. Over the yrs, customers did buy lower cal food, but that started before the program. So...what?

In NYC, menus had to be labeled as of 2008. Back then, people said they used calorie counts more often than people that went to unposted restaurants. Over time, though, people ignored the counts.

Actually, the calorie police have known all this for years. These studies are not new.

There may be increased awareness, but no decrease in cals ordered.

Also, the counts are often not accurate. A 2011 study found many items were at least 100 cals more than listed. The ones with lowest calories, moreover, were most likely to be incorrect.

Now, the suggestion is that servers should also ask diners if they would like to downsize starchy sides.

I expect that will go over like lead fries.

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