Argument: Calorie counts make it easier to judge calories in foods
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"Should Restaurants Be Required To Post Calorie Information?". Dr. Dolgoff's Weigh. Dr. Dolgoff. July 19th, 2009: "As a pediatrician and child obesity specialist, I spend my days talking to overweight families. I am constantly surprised at the lack of knowledge about calories and nutrition. While it may seem obvious that certain foods have a lot of calories, most people are unaware of exactly how many calories they contain."
Ezra Klein. "Change, Calories, Costs." Washington Post. July 15, 2009: "Studies show that we wildly underestimate the calorie content of meals we order in restaurants. Worse, as meals get larger, we underestimate the calorie content by even more. Meanwhile, we eat out a lot more than we did in, say, the 1970s, and the portion sizes are much larger. Not coincidentally, so are we."
"The Best Appetite Suppressant Would Be Mandatory Calorie Counts On Menus" Life Fitness Blog. August 4, 2009: "People often misjudge not only the amount of calories they consume in a day, but they mistakenly believe they are ordering a nutritious menu item at a restaurant when really they ordering entrees that are laden with unwanted calories and fat. For example, Olive Garden’s grilled chicken crostada has 1270 calories and a whopping 75 grams of fat. Wow! People may mistakenly see “grilled” and think that this has to be healthier than something that is fried. On no planet, is that meal anything but a heart attack on a plate. Salads, unfortunately, often fair no better. At Sweet Tomatoes, the 100% whole wheat creamy chipotle vegetarian salad has an unbelievable 700 calories and 50 grams of fat per serving. Ouch. If you had thought that whole wheat and vegetarian connote a heart healthy menu offering. Sadly, you would have been wrong."
Sara Hearn, agreed that the listings are a good idea. "Just giving people the information will make them think twice about what they eat."
Raquel Bournhonesque, member of Upstream Public Health and the Oregon Nutrition Policy Alliance: "At a time when the state is grappling with budget issues, this is a really low-cost consumer tool that all Oregonians across the state can use to help manage their weight."
Thomas Wadden, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania: "More than likely, it's going to help people consume a dinner meal that has 750 calories rather than 1,500 or 2,000 calories."
Ezra Klein. "Can Menu Labeling Make Us Healthier, Cheaper, Better?" Washington Post. May 18, 2009: "The theory here is simple. Ignorance, as my Libertarian friends claim, might be bliss. But it also makes you fat. It's not simply that consumers don't know how many calories are in restaurant meals. It's that repeated studies show they systematically underestimate how many calories are in restaurant meals. And they underestimate by more calories as meals grow larger. We're better, in other words, at assessing the calorie load of a simple cheeseburger than an Awesome Blossom. And it's not that we're stupid. Studies show that even nutritionists tend to lowball their estimates at fast food restaurants, coming in 200 to 600 calories below the mark."
Jane Andrews, Wegmans' corporate nutrition manager, said,"I think many people have a difficult time guessing on nutritional content but once you show them the information, they say, 'Oh, I can make a choice,' That's who we are trying to help.