It’s Not Nice To Label…Or Is It?

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With the Obamas on the healthcare case, Americans may find themselves thinking twice before ordering a Frappuccino or coffee cake at Starbucks.

Buried deep within the President’s health care reform bill there lays a mandate which requires big food chains to come up with the goods on their goods. This new federal law requires obligations for any restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to disclose calorie counts on their food items. Along with this information they will supply information on how many calories you should eat – if you’re considered a “healthy person.”

We’ve gone back and forth on the subject of restaurant labeling at A Weight Lifted. I think Marsha has been less a proponent than myself (she can defend this notion later…), but I’ve always felt there’s some merit in enlightening consumers how many calories might be in more high risk items.

Here are some of the considerations up for discussion:

  •  The average Joe simply doesn’t have the capability to discern calories in much of what they eat. Particularly, with portions so small and high fructose syrups and fats so high. I can agree that it’s a slippery slope…
  • Getting folks to focus on calories, numbers and labels further encourages consumers not to use their intuitive ability to feel what’s going on in their bellies and in their brains, regardless of what a label tells them.
  • Our food source in the country is a problem. Portions are too big, sugars and saturated fats too high – stop the insanity!

Where do you fall on the issue of government mandates on calories counts? Gone too far? Not far enough? Will such a mandate help us to lead healthy lives?

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Bethany says:

    I would love to see nutirition informaiton on more food! I try to eat intuitivley, but I feel like knowing that the cookie is 200 less calories than the muffin would be helpful, when they both sound good! I do see how it could be an issue for people who struggle with restrictive eating, as it might cause them to fixate on a number, but for me it would be a huge plus!

  • I think consumers have the right to know. However, I believe we can trust our own bodies to tell us what we physically need.

  • Kim L says:

    I think nutritional information is very important. Even the average consumer needs to know what’s in what they are eating. Not so much about calories, but what makes up what they are eating. I’ve noticed that since I have given up anything with high fructose corn syrup and limited how many high sugar items I consume, my sugar cravings are few and far between. When I do get them, they are much less intense and easily satisfied. I’ve discovered that the closer I stay to whole foods, the better I eat and the more satisfied I feel. It’s the processed foods that really made me binge. I may have just convinced myself of this, but physically my response to food and cravings is much healthier the more I stick with whole foods. Knowing what you are eating can clue you in to what your body responds to and what it doesn’t

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