Looking over the menu, you catch the description of the chicken linguine. You start salivating. Your eyes slide to the price…$14… not bad for a reputable Italian restaurant. Then you notice another piece of info, and your mouth dries up like a 5,000 year old mummy. It’s 1,300 calories!
Metro reported yesterday that the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) suggested one way to fight childhood obesity was to pass legislation requiring restaurant chains and school cafeterias to post calorie counts on menus. Dalton McGuinty, by the way, responded today that childhood obesity is a federal issue, dismissing it from his jurisdiction.
Overeating is a health issue with western society in general, not just a federal problem or one that concerns only children and teens. Portion sizes in most restaurants are at least twice as big as they need be to create more value for the price. While you have the choice to doggie-bag it, most people opt for fresh… plus they don’t want to waste money or food, either!
But according to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, Metro’s source in Wednesday’s article, “Battling the Bulge: Doctor recommend listing calorie counts on menus” (story in print only),
“women should consume about 1,600 to 1,800 calories per day, while men should limit daily intake to about 2,000 to 2,400 calories to maintain a healthy weight.”
So if I chose the chicken linguine dinner above, I’d only have 300 calories for the rest of the day. That’s unacceptable if you follow the healthy eating tip to eat (at least something small and healthy) every 2 hours to maintain a robust metabolism.
At least with posted calories, I’d still choose the linguine but share it Lady and the Tramp style (see picture above).
These Metro articles follow last week’s, Cut calories to lose weight, which reported that a recent study suggested all you have to do to lose weight is to reduce your portions and eat heart healthy food (plus exercise and counselling was offered). No matter how much fat or protein (low, average or high) varied in the participants’ diets, they all lost approximately 13 pounds over six months.
Listing calorie counts for take-out items will create an awareness of healthy eating. It embues us, the consumer, with enormous power to make better decisions. Even when we’re starving!
So could this be it? Has the OMA provided the tipping point for health-consciousness? Please share your thoughts!