National Menu Labeling Law Moves Closer To Reality

As states continue to adopt laws requiring chain restaurants to include nutritional information on menus, Congress has been considering proposals for a national menu-labeling law. This week, members of Congress, the restaurant industry, and consumer groups reached agreement on a proposal that they hope to introduce this summer.

The compromise proposal would require restaurants that operate more than 20 stores nationwide to include calorie information on menus and menu boards, and to make “immediately available” detailed nutritional information, like fat, sodium, and sugar content, in written form. Calorie information would also be required on vending machines when the owner operates more than 20 machines.

The passage of state laws in New York City, California, and other states and cities have seen some chain restaurants begin posting nutritional information on store menus, but other restaurants still don’t even post the info online. According to one survey [PDF], 82% of New Yorkers polled said seeing the calorie counts on menus affected their orders.

The menu-labeling proposal has support from government officials, public health agencies, and other interested parties, including the strange bedfellows of Dunkin Donuts and Center for Science in the Public Interest. The measure is expected to be included as part of the health care legislation offered later this year.

(Photo: tokyohanna)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. edwardso says:

    But I want to live in denial!

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Those donuts look terrible. Ugggggh. At first I thought they were bagels. That glaze is more like a crust.

  3. ekthesy says:

    I ate two of those this morning…but they looked better than that.

  4. Clobberella says:

    But why just the calories and not the fat? That could still be a little misleading. Bacon, for example, doesn’t have that many calories, but it’s got a whole hell of a lot of fat. It seems like it defeats the purpose if you still have to go get a separate nutrition info flyer thing just to find out something basic like fat grams.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      @Clobberella: Yeah, they really need all of the fat, carb, and sodium listed out, because people on different diets need to know those numbers, not just calories.

      I need to watch carbs/sugars because of my health condition, so that’s the prime number I look for. Fat and sodium numbers are important to me too, but the sugar number is most important. Calories is meaningless unless I know where they come from.

    • Alex Chasick says:

      @Clobberella: Alas, that was the compromise. The better bill included fat, sodium, etc. I’m hoping that requiring that the rest of the nutritional information be “immediately available” means that there will be brochures or a list on the wall like what Burger King does.

    • Ratty says:

      @Clobberella: Because it doesn’t matter if the calories from fat are from fat, carbs, protein–it’s still the total calories. You can get fat eating completely fat free food items.

      • solidbrassfasteners says:

        @Ratty: It is and it isn’t. Calories matter, but carbs and proteins play into it differently and the way your body processes them. I’d rather know how many carbs were in something than how many calories, ultimately – I’ve lost weight and been in better health from eating double cheeseburgers for lunch and dinner, without ketchup or a bun.

        • Ratty says:

          @solidbrassfasteners: Yes, but most people won’t need it.

          Calorie count should be sufficient information for the most part from the immediate visual area–most places offer full information, protein carbs and fat and all, separately. I think most people will understand starch and sugars are carbs, fried adds fat, meats have proteins, etc.

          I’d rather this than nothing.

  5. LegoMan322 says:

    I really do not see the need for this. I do not think anyone is going to say “ohh those calories are way too high”. If they knew where they were eating….they should know what kind of food they are going to eat. (dunkin donuts, Krispy, McD, Wendy’s etc)

    I cannot see anyone even reading these signs.

    • edwardso says:

      @LegoMan322: Right, once I’ve made the bad decision to eat fast food I’m not backing down

    • labeled says:

      @LegoMan322: I love McD’s Sausage McMuffin w/egg (with hash brown & coffee) entirely too much, basing entire road trips around said “meal.” (Don’t get them any other time.)

      And I purposefully, willfully ignore the Nutrition Facts label.

      So you may be right.

      (However, when my daughter and I go to Subway, we smugly read their napkins and snicker over all of the calories we’re saving. So.. there’s that.)

    • goodcow says:

      @LegoMan322: You’d be surprised. I live in NYC and routinely pick other food options now once I see the calorie counts. It DOES affect you and will hopefully lead to better food options for this country of obese and lazy fucks.

      • LegoMan322 says:

        @goodcow: haha…so that was kind of my point but I am glad you said it first. Over weight people are not going to care about the calories and there is more over weight people than anything here. I would bet that most people do not know how many calories you should take in per day.

        • Kimberly Gist-Collins says:

          @LegoMan322: Many overweight people care very much about their calorie intake. Some don’t, but the thinnest people I see are the ones who are the biggest pigs when it comes to food. I can’t believe how much food some people who are thin consume. It is ungodly. Appetizers, salad, bread, main dish, and dessert. Geez. I can’t even eat a full entree much less all of that other crap people get.

          I am not fat, but I do care and having the calories listed would change my mind about certain things I am sure. I already look up the food at most of the places I eat.

      • JamieSueAustin says:

        @goodcow: It matters to me. I often go searching for the posted nutritional info in fast food joints. I want to be able to pick out the best option while I’m there and common sense things like salads can some time have way more calories than I would have guessed. I’m terrible at estimating calories or portions so labeling makes me happy.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      @LegoMan322: It would actually help me decide between several choices at a given establishment.

      I don’t eat out often so when I do, I somewhat surrender to the unhealthiness of it as part of the whole treat of being out, but say if I was deciding between two burgers and would be happy with either and could see that one, by virtue of having a particular sauce on it, doubled its sugar and sodium, I’d opt for the one with less. Kind of a lesser of two evils sort of thing.

      And having that info on a website somewhere doesn’t help me when I’m ordering in the restaurant, so I would appreciate having it easily accessible at the time of ordering.

    • ludwigk says:

      @LegoMan322: What has fewer calories? A Jr Bacon Cheese burger, a Spicy Chicken Go wrap, or a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad from Wendys? People just don’t know these things. The guy who gets a salad to lose weight instead of the hamburger probably doesn’t expect it to have 60% more calories, but it does.

      What we can’t expect people to do is go to the website, download all the nutritional information, then make informed decisions, but these signs are at least a step in the right direction.

      The point is that people have NO idea how many calories they eat, or that their meal contains. This has been demonstrated in numerous studies. People think a sandwich + chips + drink will clock in at 500-700 calories, and it will actually be like 1300. When you’re off by a factor of 2, and the discrepancy makes up 1/3 of your recommended caloric intake, some guidelines are needed if people are to have any hope of making healthy decisions.

      If you took some overweight guy who decides he wants to lose some weight, he needs SOMETHING to help him start making better decisions and not eat 1000 calorie meals. With menu guidelines, he can shoot for ~700 calories for lunch and dinner instead of being hopelessly clueless in the matter of calories consumed.

      • LegoMan322 says:

        @ludwigk: You make a nice argument but I just don’t think that anyone who wants a Caesar salad, or pours ketchup or mayo or butter (yum) that they are going to give a shit about calories.

        We all know what food is good and bad for us. And if you do not understand what to eat and what not to eat….I do not see someone looking at the signs and saying…no i should not eat that.

        People never read is also another reason why I think this idea is off.

        Granted…for a smart person who wants to watch what they do…this is a great idea…for the other people who do not give a shit…this idea does nothing…which is a majority of the people.

        • Alex Chasick says:

          @LegoMan322: The point is that we don’t know what what food is good and bad for us. Ninety percent of the New Yorkers polled after calorie information started being displayed said they were surprised by the calorie content and that the calorie counts were higher than expected. Take just one of the questions and answers from this CSPI quiz:

          3. Which item at Dunkin’ Donuts has the fewest number of calories?
          The answer is b.

          a. Sesame bagel with cream cheese
          (570 calories)
          b. 2 jelly filled donuts
          (420 calories)
          c. Banana walnut muffin
          (540 calories)
          d. A medium (24 oz.) strawberry banana smoothie
          (550 calories)

          I think most people would naturally think jelly donuts are the worst item, and assume that a fruit smoothie is better for you. A lot of the answers to those quiz questions are surprising.

          You said:

          Granted…for a smart person who wants to watch what they do…this is a great idea…for the other people who do not give a shit…this idea does nothing…which is a majority of the people.

          In New York at least, that’s not true. 82% of those polled said that seeing the calorie content impacted their decisions.

          • LegoMan322 says:

            @Alex Chasick: I understand what you are saying..but one other point I am trying to make is..why are you eating at Dunkin Donuts if you are worried about calories? (insert any shitty eatery in place of dunkin).

            That is the part that I do not understand. “Hey I need to watch calories and lose some weight….shit I want to go to dunkin donuts!”

            I work in New York and know that every deli I go into has no signage at all. You are lucky if they even tell you what they offer you to eat.

            I never expect 82% to say that it impacted their decisions. I see so many people order the crap at delis and starbucks and other places, I never thought it would be that high.

            • Alex Chasick says:

              @LegoMan322: That’s a fair point, but there’s some gray area between being on a strict diet and exercise program to lose weight and not caring what you eat, like just wanting to maintain weight or make as sensible choice as one can in such a place. I, for example, walk by a DD on my way to work, and stop in for a small iced coffee and a frosted donut a couple times a week. At $2 and 230 calories, it’s a pretty affordable and not-awful-for-you breakfast. It’s certainly better than the chocolate chip muffin (which I also like), which costs more and has much more calories, fat, and sodium.

              @PunditGuy: Point taken, although see this post that just went up on fruits and vitamins.

              • Bob_Mackey says:

                @Alex Chasick: Exactly. Eating a healthy diet is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s about balance. You can eat plenty of “terrible” food as long as it’s not the majority of your intake. In that sense, there are many people who may enter a purveyor of junk food and still care about how many calories a particular offering contains.

                • FaustianSlip says:

                  @Bob_Mackey: Exactly. In fact, most studies show that diets that completely eliminate any room for “cheating” or treating yourself to something unhealthy fail. Eating healthy shouldn’t mean living like a monk, never eating out and eating nothing but bran flakes and celery. It’s about balance and understanding what you’re consuming- be it a healthy salad or fries from McDonald’s. I don’t think it’s ever bad to allow people to make a more informed decision about what they’re putting in their bodies- and many people really don’t know how many calories might be in XYZ food.

            • JamieSueAustin says:

              @LegoMan322: Fast food is popular because it’s FAST. You’re hungry, you’re in a hurry, you’re with other people, or you’re broke, you forgot to pack lunch, you didn’t think you’d be away from home that long, yadda yadda, and you need something to EAT that is FAST. Fast food is there for you. So you run in to grab a bite and try to guess the least terrible option. This takes away the guessing.

          • PunditGuy says:

            @Alex Chasick:

            I think most people would naturally think jelly donuts are the worst item, and assume that a fruit smoothie is better for you.

            That may still be true. Just because the donuts have fewer calories doesn’t mean that they’re better for you. You’d need the rest of the nutritional information to make a decision.

    • sponica says:

      @LegoMan322: i find that it distracts me from the price which is what I care about…i can afford to gain 5 lbs, i can’t afford to spend more than i should

    • TheWillow says:

      @LegoMan322: I live in New York. Since the calories have been posted, I have actually stopped drinking any coffee-drink aside from plain coffee+skim milk. So it’s changed my habits.

    • floraposte says:

      @LegoMan322: Thing is, it does seem to make a difference to people’s habits, whether you think it ought or not.

    • Ratty says:

      @LegoMan322: I always read the nutritional info before ordering at a place. Always. It does matter to me.

      • LegoMan322 says:

        @Ratty: Excellent and many people do that also. I just think more people will ignore it more than people will read it.

    • pop top says:

      It’s cute how everyone keeps referring to obese people as lazy and dumb. Like because if you weren’t stupid you wouldn’t be fat, amirite?

      There are a lot more factors that are part of being overweight. It’s not just about laziness or ignorance of fat/calorie content. But keep on raging against the fat machine! That’ll show those fat people that are fat!

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @LegoMan322: i really want the portion pertaining to detailed nutrition facts available (as someone with Type I Diabetes, the carb counts are somewhat important)
      although i don’t really want calorie counts posted *ON* the menu board – i have a good enough idea of how many calories i’m eating, and don’t want to start thinking about it when i order.

    • Sean Hussein Siberio says:

      @LegoMan322:

      If theres anything I hate, its the smug and completely unsubstantiated argument that even once informed that a particular lifestyle choice is unhealthy, people are just going to do it anyways. If this were the case the targets of a variety of public health campaigns would still be as widespread as they were 50 years ago, and that simply untrue.

      Cigarette smoking has dipped to the lowest levels its been since we started tracking, due to a combination of societal pressure, cost hikes, and elimination of convenience. STD rates have steadily decreased since the height of the sexual revolution, when widespread pre-marital sex first began, to rates that are far below the days when people made jokes about the clap and cupid’s disease. In fact, certain specific diseases, such as syphilis, have been targeted by the CDC to go the way of smallpox in this country. Even usage rates of harder drugs like heroin and cocaine have held steady for years.

      The point of all these examples is that people generally want to be healthy, or at least do not want to make glaringly adverse decisions, and that they do look to certain helaht authorities for information on how to make better choices. Nutrition labels and calorie facts on take-out food is another quiver in the long line of public campaigns to get people to make better choices by giving them better information. The fact that there will always be a minority group of people making poor decisions does not invalidate the overwhelming majority of those whom will choose differently when given information.

    • Kimberly Gist-Collins says:

      @LegoMan322: I would not get something if the calories were too high, or I would box up 1/2 of it to take away for a later meal. Some things that seem innocuous can be really scary fat and calorie wise.

  6. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Wow, so, my typical doughnut fix was about 1360 calories, not counting the two glasses of milk (whole, of course) for dippin’ and sippin’.

    No wonder I’m a behemoth and have been brow beaten into dieting for the last year by my doc.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      @Applekid: I tracked my calories for a week (so i only ate foods whose calorie values were available). Even including 2 donuts a day for 6 days (with whole milk ofcourse) I “underate” for 5 days, was in the range for one day, and overate one day. Though I exceeded my fat quota for 2 days.

      Makes me wonder… how many donuts do you eat???

      • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

        @MostlyHarmless: None now. Used to grab a dozen for around the house which would last through a week’s worth of cravings.

        And with a clear predilection towards overeating, I’m unlikely to ever buy more than one at a time ever again if I expect not to regain what I’ve lost and move back into that “lol-sit-around-the-house-SIT-AROUND-THE-HOUSE” obese category I just got out of, according to my BMI index.

  7. wcnghj says:

    Maine passed a law similar to this yesterday :).

  8. Brazell says:

    I see the need to *not* do this more so than the need to do this. I don’t think that businesses need to be hurt anymore than they already are.

    • jst07 says:

      @MichaelBrazell:

      I remember seeing a while back a small local chain owner had something like 1 store open over the limit and was required to do nutrition testing on all of his entree’s which was ridiculously expensive.

  9. oneandone says:

    I’m interested in this since some of the take-out / fast-food options that at first appear to be healthier sometimes have more fat, calories, or both than other options. The DD Bran Muffin has more than 400 calories, which is more than the chocolate donut here. But bran-anything seems healthier, so people who are trying to watch their diets and pick that end up shooting themselves in the foot.

    I think accurate calorie displays could do a lot to counteract marketing or a lot of preconceived ideas about healthy vs. not.

  10. 44 in a Row says:

    But why just the calories and not the fat? That could still be a little misleading. Bacon, for example, doesn’t have that many calories, but it’s got a whole hell of a lot of fat. It seems like it defeats the purpose if you still have to go get a separate nutrition info flyer thing just to find out something basic like fat grams.

    Because you can’t fit all of that information on a menu board. It’s just not feasible to have that much information on, say, the stanchion at a drive-through, and still have it be legible.

    • Clobberella says:

      @44 in a Row: Yeah, but the point is that if they are only going to post the calories without any other sort of context it almost seems like they shouldn’t bother. Someone who doesn’t know a lot about nutrition might look at a plate of pasta with marinara and veggies at 500 calories and a plate of bacon with 100 calories and decide that the bacon is the better choice, even though the bacon has 30 grams of fat and the pasta has 2. I wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to add fat grams; like in the picture above, there’s plenty of space.

      • Ratty says:

        @Clobberella: 30 grams of fat would be 270 calories…

        anyway, would help if people knew how many calories per gram of X.

        And for many people, the protein or carbohydrate count is more important than fat, and sodium too.

  11. 44 in a Row says:

    Nice work closing your tags, there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous. The government should not be responsible for ensuring you eat healthy. You’re an adult. You probably have internet access. Look up the nutritional information online. Better yet, use common sense to realize dough, deep fried in oil then glazed in sugar is BAD FOR YOU.

    If the states want to do it on an individual level, fine. But our Constitution contains no section about the federal government assisting with your coloric intake.

    You’re not fat because you don’t know the number of calories in that doughnut. You’re fat because you consume 2 every day.

    /rant

  13. yankeespitfire says:

    not just the calories and fat but also what KIND of calories and fat… and don’t forget they’d need to be posted in 4 or 5 languages as well. by the time its done there’d be room for what, 2 trays of doughnuts in the display case?

  14. MarvinwasaLunatic says:

    Next, the government will realize how awful all of the fast food is for your health. Then they will decide that they can’t allow fast food restaurants to sell anything with more than a set amount of calories/fat/salt etc. in it because the government cares about your health even if you don’t.

  15. _catlike_ says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more nutritional information displayed on “normal” foods. We all know donuts are junk food, but people may perceive regular food items for being healthier than they are because they are part of the main meal or because they take for granted that what is put in front of them is one serving. For instance, I was at dinner having a glass of red wine and my dining companion remarked that she didn’t drink red wine because it was more fattening than white (reality: 5-10 calories more a glass for non-sweet wines). She then proceeded to dump what was probably 3 or more tablespoons of blue cheese dressing on her salad, obviously not realizing she was consuming most of her daily fat intake (and a good portion of her sodium and saturated fat) on a piddly appetizer salad.

  16. 44 in a Row says:

    Yeah, but the point is that if they are only going to post the calories without any other sort of context it almost seems like they shouldn’t bother. Someone who doesn’t know a lot about nutrition might look at a plate of pasta with marinara and veggies at 500 calories and a plate of bacon with 100 calories and decide that the bacon is the better choice, even though the bacon has 30 grams of fat and the pasta has 2. I wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to add fat grams; like in the picture above, there’s plenty of space.

    Agreed in theory, but the problem is that once you add fat, it wouldn’t be too difficult to also add saturated fat, and then why not add carbs, and why not break it down into sugar and other carbs, etc., etc. They do need to just pick something and stick with it, and that’s why you make all the other information available at the point of sale on a poster or brochure.

  17. JulesNoctambule says:

    The Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar sitting beside me has the calorie information per serving along with the calorie information for the entire bar. I’ve still consumed 3/4 of it already and plan to finish the rest in a few minutes.

  18. Jonathan Moll says:

    @LegoMan322: This is already in place in NY, and it definitely affects people’s decisions. Sure, you might be in D&D because you need breakfast, but for many people they scale back what they get at restaurants. I appreciate it, because you realize some things are insane, like an appetizer at your favorite restaurant being 1,000+ calories and you never knew before. That’s just gross.

  19. EdnaLegume says:

    do not need calorie content on my doughnuts. I know it’s bad and frankly I don’t want to know HOW bad.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The question shouldn’t be whether restaurants should post nutritional information, but whether Congress should make a law requiring it.

    I think most would agree that knowing what is in your food is good. But why does a business need to be forced, at their own expense, under threat of penalties, to do this?

    If the consumer demands it let the market dictate it.

    • dequeued says:

      @RamonNovellus:

      Um, what expense?
      Printing new menus?
      Taping a sticky note to a display?
      We’re talking a few dollars here.

      Food service establishments are already required to have all of this information anyway, the only thing is that they would be required to display it.

      And how exactly would consumers “demand” this sort of thing?
      Are you supposed to ask the manager of every fast food place you go to for a pamphlet containing this information?

      What we’re talking about here is simply taking useful information that helps the consumer make an informed decision, and having merchants make it more readily available.
      Licensed food service establishments are already required to have this information anyway.
      So, really, this is a very pro-capitalist law, it’s greasing the wheels of the market.

  21. __Ken__ says:

    Smokes still say on the package that they’ll kill ya, but people keep on using them.

    It’d be interesting to see if this changes anything.

  22. aguacarbonica says:

    @LegoMan322:

    I strongly disagree with you. Normally, healthy people don’t have obsessions with food, whether the food is nutritious or not nutritious.

    Rather than cutting out all unhealthy treats and maintaining a strict diet of “good” foods, they habitually make good food decisions whenever they eat. A person who maintains a healthy lifestyle in general is likely to want a treat or dessert every once in a while, but to make a choice that is enjoyable while minimizing the negative impact on their body.

    For instance, I could order a piece of cheesecake one night and choose eat half of it, because the other 300 calories outweigh the enjoyment of a few more bites. Does it make me fat and unhealthy just because I wanted a taste? Or if I am in a hurry and wasn’t intending to eat fast food…wouldn’t it make sense for me to choose the best option?

    I mean, if you don’t eat fast food or junk food on a regular basis, you’re not very likely to print out the menu in advance are you?

    • LegoMan322 says:

      @aguacarbonica: I am not sure but I the first place I would look is “fast food place” website.

      Last time I was at McDonalds I looked and saw a 1100+ calorie on the Big Mac combo. I never noticed how much in calories. Heard stories but it was right there. I ordered and ate it.

      But before I walked to McDonalds I already knew what I wanted and why I went there.
      People need to sit and read the menu’s because they are not sure. I do not think that a calorie count would persuade many people from eating it.

      But I think the healthy people should be very happy with this, since they are now able to see, what everyone else is avoiding.

  23. weave says:

    Ruby Tuesday around here did the calorie listing for a bit a few years ago, then stopped. Shame, because I remember a burger that I was going to get having around 1200 calories and the more expensive steak dinner had like 600, so I ordered the steak instead.

  24. aguacarbonica says:

    @LegoMan322:

    I do not go out to McDonald’s because I want to enjoy a trip to a restaurant. I go out to McDonald’s because I am in a hurry and it is one of many crappy unhealthy fast-food restaurants, or because I am in an area that doesn’t have other types of establishments for me to choose from when I am hungry.

    I am a healthy person and because of that I do not plan to go to McDonald’s. Fast-food restaurants in general, and I’m including Dunkin Donuts and the like now, do not provide food to people who have planned their meals in advance. I hardly ever get into the car from home looking for dinner and pull up at a Burger King. So I’m certainly not going to download and print a menu. I don’t even always have Internet access. Many people never do. If we limit nutritional information to online, the people who are most negatively affected by poor food options are people who rely on the marketing of those restaurants to evaluate health.

    Even though we all know that a Big Mac is unhealthy, there was a time when none of us would ever have imagined that it was 1100 calories. Most of the people online pontificating about fast-food and calorie count are people who have the nutritional education and resources to internalize what calories mean (practically, not scientifically) and how much of them fast-food really have. For many people, this sign legislation will be the first time that they actually see HOW unhealthy fast-food is, not just that it is worse than a balanced meal.

    It really annoys me how many people think that unhealthy food choices are just because the person doesn’t care about themselves or has already made a decision to eat something bad. I used to be extremely overweight as a child and a teenager precisely because my parents had no concept of what the food they made and bought was doing to my body. My parents love me and have given me every opportunity. I have had no doubt if they knew they were essentially feeding me a pound per week (body weight) in food they would have stopped. Because of my upbringing I literally did not understand the consequences of eating:

    * A grilled cheese sandwich with two pieces of cheese, butter on the bread, and turkey with a side of chips after school before dinner.
    * There were times when I supplemented this with a snack cake like zebra cakes.
    * Any and all leftovers, before dinner – spaghetti, chicken, whatever was in the fridge
    * Three servings of ice cream in one bowl (didn’t think of servings at the time)

    I was a latchkey kid so my parents didn’t watch me consume all this. But they didn’t teach me the consequences of food intake either. Needless to say I was shellshocked when I got to college and now eat like a normal person, understand nutrition, and am not fat.

    • Kimberly Gist-Collins says:

      @aguacarbonica: One way to counter grabbing horrible food when you are eating in a hurry is to get online and pick some of the better choices. Know what the better choices are and try to pick those when you go out.

      Wendy’s chili is a good example. It’s fairly good for you. Order the small burgers and fries at burger joints. even better, skip the fries. You don’t have to do without fast food. You can have it regularly and enjoy it if you make better choices and don’t insist on eating so much damned food.

  25. aguacarbonica says:

    OH MY GOD. TLDR; I was fat because I didn’t understand nutrition and calories. When I learned what I was actually eating I stopped eating crap regularly. Lost weight. Crusade for other people’s nutrition.

  26. FaustianSlip says:

    @LegoMan322: Really? I’ve lost more than twenty pounds in the last couple of months based solely on keeping track of calorie intake. I haven’t completely eliminated eating out and started consuming nothing but lettuce- I got an iPhone app that syncs with the Daily Plate and lets me look up just about any kind of food I might eat (and offers comparable substitutions for stuff that’s not actually in there). If I had the calories for a particular meal right in front of my face when ordering, as I have with this app, I probably would have been making different choices sooner. Knowing that something is “bad” for you is less useful than knowing how bad it is, what else on a menu might be a more viable alternative. Most people know that a Big Mac isn’t great for you, but most probably don’t realize just how bad it is. Putting calories on menus helps eliminate some of that ignorance.

    But it’s not like I know anything, right? I’m just a fat fuck.

  27. nacoran says:

    “The passage of state laws in New York City, California, and other states…”

    I know there has been a coupe in Albany but New York City has not yet succeeded, and if the southern (New Yorkers) try to succeed there will be a fight.

    (Not really. They can leave if they want.)

  28. jallopy says:

    Not be gross, but doesn’t the picture look more like horse dung than Dunkin Donuts? Or is it Dung-in Donuts?

  29. batsy says:

    I’m in support of this. It seems as though the United States wants obesity levels to lower but doesn’t want to implement any measures to make that happen. “It’s the fat people’s fault for eating at McDonald’s, and I shouldn’t have to see calorie information when I order a Big Mac because of them.” We both ridicule the obese and contribute to the climate that aids their obesity in the same sentence. Yes, weight is a personal responsibility, but when obesity becomes an epidemic that affects such a wide range of people from various backgrounds, brushing all of these people off as “lazy” is very closed-minded. Our culture contributes to most everything we do. Either you want to provide people with the information they need to make healthier choices, or you are contributing to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” fast food society.

  30. morlo says:

    When are they going to list ingredients. I don’t care if it’s low calorie if its filled with artificial sweeteners and extracted meat byproducts

  31. wrjohnston19283 says:

    Dunkin’ Donuts is in on this as it is a national law, which will help prevent each state and city from making their own. They’d much rather want to have to understand one set of rules for the whole country rather than have understand 50. As it is, NYC inspectors don’t understand the rules they are checking for compliance on.

  32. dequeued says:

    Normally I would be opposed to this sort of thing out of principle, but living here, I actually see that it’s a really good idea.
    As long as the government doesn’t impose some sort of “fat tax”, they’re still letting the market, and people choose what to eat.
    All this does is provide more information to consumers, and provide an additional “market conduit”.

    It has certainly influenced my decisions, and, I think, made me eat healthier.

    I’m no expert on nutrition, but simply seeing those calorie labels forces my mind to factor in the health costs of what I eat, whereas before I rarely thought about it.

    And it’s not like the government is making judgments about food and Nannying us, they’re just forcing businesses to display factual information.

    I never go to coldstone creamery anymore.
    Seeing 2400 calories for a large shake is enough to drive me away, but they still seem to be doing pretty well, I see lots of obese “regulars” queuing up whenever I walk by one.

    And, these laws may create a more reactive market, which would allow people to provide more negative feedback for unhealthy food, which could only be a good thing.

  33. Waverly V Phillips says:

    Those are donuts. Yuk I thought a prisoner might have shaped his “uhh never mind don’t want to spoil anyone’s breakfeast”