New Hope 360 Blog

Menu transparency-- why are we so food stupid?

The new health care bill is going to require restaurants with more than 20 or more locations to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive throughs. And more than 60 percent of restaurant goers support this, according to a recent poll from Mintel.

I understand the argument that there are mind-blowing amounts of hidden calories, fat and sodium in a lot of restaurant foods. But, a lot of us already know this--know how to order appropriately and really don’t need our dining experiences racked with guilt and self-condemnation. And, I really question if, and how, this is going to change unhealthy American eating habits. It seems tantamount to a diet—and we all know how well those work. Will the stats not just be ignored by those who could care less and fixated upon by those who know that a sandwich with more than 1 thousand calories is a heck of a lot of calories? Will it really teach anyone about ingredients, the source of what’s on the plate, or how to slow down and enjoy food and stop when full?

Ultimately, I wonder if these in-your-face stats will just exacerbate our culture’s already unnatural relationship with food.

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