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What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

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  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Member Posts: 1,904 Member Member Posts: 1,904 Member
    pinuplove wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    :lol: at thinking "nutrition counts" at restaurants are even in the ballpark.

    Maybe at fast food places they may be close, but at any full service restaurant your actual portion could be off by several hundred calories depending on who prepared it and who your server is.

    If they are human, they're going to be way off on the estimations. When I was a server I knew certain chefs were going to go heavy (or light) on things like butter, cheese, mayo, avocado, dressings and sauces. They prepare things the way they like them. Even if they are supposed to be using portion ladles, that isn't how it actually works. Same with salad dressings. I don't really use much salad dressing, so I would use the small bullet size dressing cups: which is what the calorie count and recipe said. Lots of servers would give their customers the ramekin size of dressing and extra croutons. Why? Because a lot of people are going to ask for more and it's better to give it to them pre-emptively than have to make another trip.

    Ten extra croutons can be 50-70 calories. The difference between 2 ounces of dressing and 5 ounces is a couple hundred calories if you are getting Ranch or Bleu Cheese. An extra full ladle of bar be que or gravy sauce can be 100+ calories more than the posted amount.

    Same with cheese on dishes. It's added by using shredded cheese. Most recipes are going to call for a half ounce of cheese but most dishes are going to come to your table with 2 ounces. That's nearly a 200 calorie discrepancy.

    So don't assume that calorie count is even close. Sure, a restaurant with a diligent chef is going to keep an eye on this stuff for food cost reasons, but don't count on it.

    This is a 2 ounce serving (bullet)
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    This is 5 ounces

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    Well, you're kind of making my point here for me. I have zero issues with being 2-3, even 400 calories over here and there. But, given the real example I stated near the top of the thread, I'd like to have enough info to make a reasonable guess, such as within 2-300 or 400 calories.

    To clarify - I'm only making the argument. I don't eat out enough to even think about, much less worry about it, but what about the millions of folks who do eat out multiple times a week? 500 or more calories 2-3 times a week can be a goal breaker, easily. Asking restaurants to make information available is not equal to ceding personal responsibility in any way. It is catering to a healthier mindset. What's wrong with that?

    Ah, but some of us do have a problem with it! A few hundred calories is kind of a big deal when your deficit is tiny to begin with ;)

    ETA but I'm not blaming the restaurants. I have enough practice logging to know, generally, when I need to add calories to whatever is stated on the menu. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

    Yeah but You're tiny!! :D

    It's a good point though. :)
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,939 Member Member Posts: 5,939 Member
    From a maintenance perspective, I wish calorie disclosure would go further. I would like to see mandatory calorie counts for all restaurants and shops selling food items, regardless of number of locations. Not to the extent of sending food to a lab for measurement, but at least calculating calories for all the ingredients and dividing by their serving size.

    I think that's too burdensome, and the role that small local restaurants play in obesity is likely slight (and most such restaurants operate on a pretty thin margin and the failure rate is high).
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,213 Member Member Posts: 38,213 Member
    shaf238 wrote: »
    Putting aside for one minute that people need to take more responsibility for themselves, mandating that food suppliers, restaurants, etc have to provide nutritional information would be the one thing I'd like to see.

    That's already required for the most part. It would be very burdensome for mom and pop establishments though and many of them would likely go out of business.
  • Copper_BoomCopper_Boom Member Posts: 85 Member Member Posts: 85 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    shaf238 wrote: »
    Putting aside for one minute that people need to take more responsibility for themselves, mandating that food suppliers, restaurants, etc have to provide nutritional information would be the one thing I'd like to see.

    That's already required for the most part. It would be very burdensome for mom and pop establishments though and many of them would likely go out of business.

    Just curious- why would this be especially burdensome for Mom and Pop restaurants and put many of them out of business? They’re allowed to use the database method. It doesn’t have to be any harder than it is for us to fill out a recipe in MFP. It might actually help them to more accurately calculate the cost to make a portion when they look at the amount of each ingredient.

    For one thing, if actual legislation was enacted, I would have serious doubts as to them being allowed to use the data base method as that would be pretty loosey goosey for actual legislation. And really, what's the point of enacting legislation when databases are so full of absolute *kitten* for entries made by other users of the system? How much will they be allowed to be off? Would people even trust the stated calorie counts? I mean people already question the counts of restaurants who's food gets sent to a lab. Do they get fined for using bad entries to create their calorie counts? Do they get away with using entries that are erroneously low to make it appear that their menu is lower calorie? How is the FDA going to verify the calorie counts without that food going to a lab?

    Mom and pop restaurants already run on a very thin margin and many, if not most struggle to just stay open. As I stated in an earlier reply, this is extra time spent when owners of these establishments are already burning it at both ends, and time is money. It's irrelevant though because any such legislation would never allow for something so unscientific as using a random database to come up with calorie counts to assure the public of what they're getting. Having food sent to a lab is expensive and would put many of these places under.

    Beyond that, mom and pop restaurants are a pretty small % of the restaurant world and the overall food supply. I seriously don't think mom and pop restaurants are contributing substantially to the obesity epidemic. If you looked at it on a pie chart, mom and pop restaurants would be a tiny sliver of the overall food supply...why burden something so small with more bureaucracy? They already have to deal with a *kitten* ton of it already. The government doesn't typically enact legislation that makes things easier...

    I'm not sure where you are located, but this is already required in the U.S. for restaurants with 20 or more locations. The FDA website does state that they can comply using nutrient databases (USDA, cookbooks, etc.). No requirement to send food to a lab.
    edited March 2019
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