Today’s article in the New York Times, “2,000 Is Really Enough”,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/opinion/20mon3.html?th&emc=th
refers to the calorie count that most adults generally need.
It talks of the calorie count posting in restaurants of all food and how some fast food chains are getting on board.
Although not everyone knows that roughly 2,000 calories a day is about it, I think all of us probably have been surprised to learn how high the calorie counts are for so many things.
Even as a former obsessive calorie counter when I was dancing and dieting, I still get ‘sticker shock’ when I see that the rice crispie treat snack I always get at Starbucks is almost a quarter of the daily calories I ostensibly should/could have.
Certainly gives me pause as I ponder my options during that 4:00 p.m. slump.
Although I tend to try to help people become less obsessional about their eating, (which invariably tends to help people lose weight realistically and keep it off,) I think that this calorie posting does actually help consciousness. Consciousness being key to helping you decide whether you want to eat this or that, and helps you take in less calories overall.
Knowledge being power, definitely reigns in this “Post or Not Post Calories” era. I am glad to see that some fast food companies are getting on board, and that some states are looking at this more seriously.
Whether it actually helps us eat less will be another story, but it certainly won’t hurt. We will begin to understand in fact, what a true portion size is, its relative heft, and I think it will help people make choices.
I sometimes do choose to have the bulk of my calories in the afternoon in the form of a Rice Crispy Treat. Ironically, the Calorie Count Placards fits into the Weight Watchers program: You get to choose how and when you eat your calories.
We Americans like to know that we fundamentally have choices. I think Calorie Posting falls in line with the American Way as it helps give us the information on how we choose to even pick our poison. It is our right, and our responsibility, isn’t that the position?!
Ultimately, it is a more realistic approach to educating people about nutrition anyway. We all know what it takes to eat ‘healthy,’ and the Food Pyramid. But given the reality of most people’s lives, and our reliance on restaurants, fast food, and quicker options, it does help to know what we are taking in.