This could help Americans lose weight

steak salad

While I enjoy going out to eat, I don’t know how many calories or carbohydrates are in any of the dishes on the menu. A new law requires restaurants with 20 or more chains to list the calorie counts right on the menus. If I could see the calorie count, I would definitely avoid the high-calorie entrées. The most recent study from the Rand Corp., published in 2018, “…found that if people were informed about the calories in menu items, they purchased food with 38 fewer calories, on average” (1). While that’s not a lot, if someone eats several meals a day out, those calorie savings add up fast, and could mean that person loses 11 pounds per year.

Since that study, and past studies have found that people aren’t choosing much lower calorie items when the calories are listed, it makes me wonder that the reason this is, is because the people who eat at restaurant chains are not concerned as much about how many calories they are consuming. If all restaurants, regardless of size, had to list the nutritional information on each item, I bet results would show that restaurants would provide smaller, more reasonable sized portions, and would reduce the amount of oil and fat. I also think results would show that people do chose lower-calorie options if all restaurants were forced to provide that data.

Photo: Look how much meat is on that plate. A serving would be 1/4 of that size.

  1. Source: Tiecholz, Nina. “Calories on menus won’t slim down America.” Los Angeles Times. May 20, 2018. Page A-17.

 

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