Remember when you were in elementary school or middle school and you were given an assignment that you knew was going to smack you upside your head with confusion but you tried anyway?
Right. That’s kind of how I feel about the recent law being passed in New York City forcing fast food chains to display calorie information next to the food items on the menu. The chains being affected are those that have at least 15 separate outlets in operation. So I’m guessing we are looking places like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.
State public health officials cracking down on the obesity epidemic and saving the world! Right?
Well….in my opinion, not so much.
- You are going into a fast food restaurant and not HanGawi. Let’s be real here.
- By the time you are in that McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King – you have already (most likely) made the conscious decision to get a hamburger, chicken sandwich, chicken nuggets, French fries or a combination of those.
- The people coming into the restaurant are not stupid, they’re lazy. Hence the term “fast food”.
- Nobody cares about calories when they come here, Exhibit A, Exhibit B and come on, not even the restaurants care! Seriously, did these places lose that much money when Super Size Me came out in theaters?
- Finally, how many people know the amount of calories they should be eating in one day? On several of the fast food websites, they include their nutritional information but that’s meainngless if you don’t have context. Ok, the Quad Stacker at BK is going to set me back 1000 calories (yes it will), I might joke about the large number but how is it really going to affect me? If I should be consuming 2,000 calories in one day – that’s half of it gone right there. And that’s just the sandwich folks, you KNOW you usually want to get that whole meal!!
Don’t get me wrong, any steps taken to prevent the obesity rate from increasing is a good thing. And no I don’t have all the solutions but one thing I do want to point our is that we are all responsible for our choices. Rather than throwing some numbers on a menu and hope that people will see it and make sense of it pales in comparison to spending money in school systems and in the workplace to educate people about the wonders of healthy eating.
This is not going to be a quick fix. By a long shot.