Welcome to Debate Club! Please be aware that this is a space for respectful debate, and that your ideas will be challenged here. Please remember to critique the argument, not the author.

Is requiring posting calories of menu items going to help reduce obesity?

Options
1356789

Replies

  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,179 Member
    Options
    Gale, some of us will find it useful. Those of us who use it to stay within our calorie budget will be overwhelmed by those who use it to get the most calories for their bucks.
  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
    edited May 2018
    Options
    I think it will help the people who don't need to be helped: ie those with the skills and motivation to figure out how much to eat and stick to it anyway, without labelling on foods. It will help these people with the ease with which they can do this.

    It will help a very small minority of others BUT it could inspire some people to learn and do more for their health. Rather like cigarette package warnings.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    Options
    I think it will help the people who don't need to be helped: ie those with the skills and motivation to figure out how much to eat and stick to it anyway, without labelling on foods. It will help these people with the ease with which they can do this.

    It will help a very small minority of others BUT it could inspire some people to learn and do more for their health. Rather like cigarette package warnings.

    Oh trust me, these people would appreciate all the help they could get. Where I live, the only restaurant info I can get my hands on is McDonad's, which is why this is my fast food of choice more often than not. It's not just an inconvenience, it can be a downright nuisance at times. To make it worse, not all packaged foods have a nutritional label either, and some have labels that can't be trusted (bread at less than 1 calorie per gram? Yeah right).
  • tennisdude2004
    tennisdude2004 Posts: 5,609 Member
    Options
    I think it will help the people who don't need to be helped: ie those with the skills and motivation to figure out how much to eat and stick to it anyway, without labelling on foods. It will help these people with the ease with which they can do this.

    It will help a very small minority of others BUT it could inspire some people to learn and do more for their health. Rather like cigarette package warnings.

    Oh trust me, these people would appreciate all the help they could get. Where I live, the only restaurant info I can get my hands on is McDonad's, which is why this is my fast food of choice more often than not. It's not just an inconvenience, it can be a downright nuisance at times. To make it worse, not all packaged foods have a nutritional label either, and some have labels that can't be trusted (bread at less than 1 calorie per gram? Yeah right).

    Agreed. McDonald’s does seem to be one of the few that post up the calorie information (I’m not sure they breakdown the macros) but then I haven’t looked that hard. I normally only get a black coffee (bargain at £1.59)!

  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,590 MFP Moderator
    Options
    I think so. It only makes calorie counting easier if that is your method of choice to lose weight. It is easier to succed when the information is readily available.

    Even those not strictly calorie counting may get something out of the information. I know one of the big lessons I remember learning when I first started this was "healthy" foods in restaurants aren't always as "healthy" as you think. Those unawares don't realize when they are "making a good decision" and ordering a salad they might actually be selecting a giant calorie bomb and foiling their own efforts.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    Options
    Nope...for the vast majority of people, it's just a number...it has no real context and thus no particular meaning. Nutritional information has been provided on packaged goods in stores for ages...no impact on the obesity epidemic.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
    Options
    No. Just as the majority living in the Western world are in financial debt, the majority are going to be obese. It's the price of living with abundance.

    It will help those who sacrifice their present for their future.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
    edited May 2018
    Options
    kpsyche wrote: »
    it could also potentially open the door for lawsuits - someone misreads the posted calorie count and gains weight...and therefore its the restaurants fault (oh wait - didn't that happen with Chipotle)

    Couldn't that work the other way as well? "I assumed that the chicken burger was low in calories and you didn't tell me otherwise and I ended up fat.. wahhhh... you now owe me $1 million for pain and suffering"

    that is what i meant....

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/11/the-case-of-the-diet-burrito-customers-sue-over-misleading-nutrition-info/

    See, reading the article, I don't see this as a frivolous suit. The signage was clearly confusing and counter productive. If it was clearer, it would be more helpful.

    I like the idea of (accurate) calorie counts on menu boards, but don't think it will do much.

    it'll be interesting to see what comes of the case - bcasue i go to chipotle frequetnyl (and while I didn't see that specific sign) - every column of food as you made your bowl/tortilla has a separate calorie count
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Options
    Not in the least. Those that care about the number of calories they consume have a pretty good idea on calories in foods.
  • AllOutof_Bubblegum
    AllOutof_Bubblegum Posts: 3,646 Member
    Options
    I'm thinking probably not, because people who are obese are already either oblivious or don't care about calories. It'll only really help people who are already health-conscious.

    That's not to say I don't think it's still not worth doing, though. I'm all for it.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Options
    77% of the US population has smartphones. Can check on line if really care.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
  • Hungry_Shopgirl
    Hungry_Shopgirl Posts: 329 Member
    Options
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Nope...for the vast majority of people, it's just a number...it has no real context and thus no particular meaning. Nutritional information has been provided on packaged goods in stores for ages...no impact on the obesity epidemic.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. For that number to be meaningful it has to exist within the context of the customer knowing what his/her daily caloric needs are.

    For example, the magnitude of a 1,500 calorie entree doesn't mean anything until you realize you maintain at 1,800 ;-)
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,966 Member
    edited May 2018
    Options
    Doubtful. It would be helpful for people already mindful of how much they eat, that’s about it. People who are obese and don’t care, aren’t going to start caring when they see little numbers (or, I guess I should say big numbers) next to the menu items.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,860 Member
    Options
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    I was at a restaurant, wanted a salad, but the salad was the highest calorie item on the fricken menu. So, yes, it def helps me chose more wisely.

    People ask what they should order all the time on these boards... the steak. My answer is always the steak (in a reasonable portion). It's the one thing they don't need to drown in added oil and sugar to make palatable enough to serve at a restaurant.
  • Purplebunnysarah
    Purplebunnysarah Posts: 3,252 Member
    Options
    ritzvin wrote: »
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    I was at a restaurant, wanted a salad, but the salad was the highest calorie item on the fricken menu. So, yes, it def helps me chose more wisely.

    People ask what they should order all the time on these boards... the steak. My answer is always the steak (in a reasonable portion). It's the one thing they don't need to drown in added oil and sugar to make palatable enough to serve at a restaurant.

    Even restaurant steaks kind of suck now that I have an immersion circulator and can make them sous vide.