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To Tell or Not To Tell

To Tell or Not To Tell
With obesity now a mainstream epidemic in the U.S., health officials are constantly trying to think of new ways to help. A recent segment on 60 minutes discussed the push to force some fast food restaurants to go public and post calorie numbers in plain view on the menu boards.

It’s not a surprise that the restaurant industry is very much against the idea of coming clean with the numbers. The fear is that customers will be shocked by the high calorie offerings and never eat out again.

A big reason health officials believe the obesity rate in our country is so high is because Americans eat out now more than ever before. When people buy food at grocery stores and prepare meals at home they have the nutrition label right there on the package. The information offered on nutrition labels allows the consumer to be mindful of what they are feeding themselves and their family.

Nutrition and marketing professor Brian Wansink believes that people tend to make the biggest mistakes when they think they are eating healthy. He pointed out during the 60 Minutes segment that many people think a tuna salad would be the healthy choice (probably because of the word ‘salad’), when in actuality the tuna salad may contain many more calories than something like a roast beef sandwich.

Professor Wansink also stated, “When people are eating in a restaurant they think is healthy, people grossly underestimate how much they eat by about 50 percent.” The idea is that if nutritional information was more widely available at restaurants, people who were making an effort to eat healthy would have some help and people who were living unhealthy lifestyles may be more motivated to cut some calories out of their diet.

Click here to watch the 60minute video - it's interesting!

What do you think of instating regulations on fast food restaurants that would force them to include calories on the menu boards?

Is this something you and your family would want to know before you make a food purchase?

Comment below or click here to join a a discussion forum on this topic.

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  • Megahottie By Megahottie
    12.04.07  

    They should! Folks should stay away from these heart attack, nasty rat infested places anyways.Cook your own food!

  • Happyme By Happyme
    12.04.07  

    I think they should. This would be helpful for me I eat out a lot with a busy life. There are days I just don't care but the guilt of knowing the fat and calories might motivate me to make better choices. Plus the fast food companies could clean up their menus.

  • StaceyD By StaceyD
    12.04.07  

    I think they should! If people don't want to know, they don't have to look. But people have a right to know what they are consuming.

  • crystalee1713 By crystalee1713
    12.05.07  

    When mcd's started showing the calories on the wrappers I started to make better choices at the drive thru! I think It is a great idea.

  • poniap By poniap
    12.06.07  

    Restaurants owe it to the public to reveal not only calorie's ....but the whole nine yards for the nutritional value of the product they sell to consumers. Even a step above that... I feel it's our rights to know (where and what) we are eating. If I am consuming a hamburger from a cow fed antibiotics and/or hormones - I think the fast food industries should be forced to include the information on the packaging. We need to force them to do this in order to ensure that the industry will offer us health selectionsy. In addition this nutrional knowledge would allow individuals to make educated choices & enable us to protect ourselves. It's my right to know what I am eating. It's us the consumers (patronage) who make it possible fast food industry to exist. Why should we pay out of our pockets & then pay with our health ........and possible our lives.

  • rcourtn1 By rcourtn1
    12.06.07  

    Dangerous food should be regulated. Tobacco and Alcohol should not come in kids containers so they should not sell dangerous food items that way either. It needs to be regulated and controlled. The public will continue to buy what is on the market if it is fast, cheap and it tastes good.

  • Nutmeg235 By Nutmeg235
    12.10.07  

    Yes, they should. We cannot charge citizens to be mindful and make ethical and intelligent decisions if we do not supply them with the information they need.

  • kirstensapphire By kirstensapphire
    12.11.07  

    I think they should, because every person should know what their consuming.

  • ncarlson By ncarlson
    12.11.07  

    I can not believe some of these comments, especially from meggahottie. I don?t know if you had a bad restaurant experience, but that is a very bold statement to make about all restaurants. The truth is that 76% of meals are prepared at home. When are people going to take responsibility for what they eat? If you have a sandwich made with 5 ingredients there are 120 different ways that sandwich can be ordered. Most chain restaurants already provide this information if you just take the time to ask.

  • jovi13 By jovi13
    12.11.07  

    I think they should post all the nuTrional value so pepole know how many calories and what the fat content is and what type of fat

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