Give Me the Numbers

Via the Atlantic’s Ideas blog, Ezra Klein calls for fast food/chain restaurants to post their calorie counts.

As Klein notes, NYC already has this, and I can say that it’s given me pause on more than one occasion, and I consider that a good thing. I’ve actually been surprised when I’ve walked into a Starbucks here in San Francisco and not seen the calorie counts listed. It’s one thing for you to go into McDonalds’ and order a Big Mac combo, knowing it’s bad for you and packed with calories, but it’s somehow justified because you don’t know how many calories you’re scarfing down. It’s something else altogether when you can see very easily that the whole combo is upwards of 1,000 calories. They put the caloric intake pretty much right next to the price, so you can’t miss it. I can’t say that it’s stopped me from making a poor decision every time, but it’s certainly altered the equation more than once. I’ve pushed back from that 800-1000+ calorie burrito and gotten the three tacos, coming in at a comparatively svelte 600 calories or so, at Chipotle a few times because of this.

If we really wanted to scare everyone into eating better, though, they’d post the grams of fat in a dish, like Men’s Health does in their annual survey of the worst food in America. It’s enough to keep you out of an Outback Steakhouse for the rest of your days.


~ by uvasig on July 14, 2009.

One Response to “Give Me the Numbers”

  1. To be honest I don’t think ANYTHING could keep me out of an Outback forever, but away from the cheese fries? Yes. I recently had the unfortunate experience of dining at a McDonald’s in San Francisco and they did have the calories posted right next to the price. This was thie first time I had seen this outside of NYC. As a result I did NOT order the salad because it had a lot more calories than the burger. Who knew? Well, I guess, now we all do.

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