By November 1, 2010 every restaurant chain in MA with at least 20 locations will be required to post calorie information for all foods on their menu. This includes such franchises as Domino’s, McDonalds, Burger King, and Dunkin Donuts; and will affect nearly 5300 restaurants throughout the state.
But what about the kids? Shouldn’t we be focusing more on educating our kids and protecting them from garbage food? I think this is more important than posting calorie information on fast food restaurant menus, but at least we are taking some steps in the right direction.
Here’s the article from Boston.com: Calorie-count rule begins next year
The Anti-Obesity Campaign
So far this anti-obesity campaign promoted by Governor Deval Patrick has been met with optimistic support. They agree that this program should be beneficial to consumers who frequently eat at fast food restaurants, especially when they typically order foods higher in calories and fat from places like this.
Would it also not benefit us to know the macronutrient information in our food?
Aside from calories, I am also interested in knowing about:
- Saturated and Trans Fat
- Fiber content
- Sugar content
Please be aware that if you want this information too, you can usually get a nutrition brochure from most restaurants. I know for sure that I have seen these in McDonalds and Burger Thing before. Not sure about anywhere else.
Calorie Counting in High Schools
Some members of the Public Health Council have asked why the law does not affect school cafeterias. Many feel it is also important to educate our kids on the nutritional information for foods they eat on a daily basis.
I would tend to agree with the argument for including calorie information in schools, but will most students really care? Certainly the kids in elementary school and junior high won’t, but some high school students may possibly start to take notice.
Serve Students Healthier Food
I think a better solution would be to take the money that would be used to update menus and post nutritional information around the cafeteria, and just buy healthier food for the kids straight up. They can only choose from 2 or 3 menu choices daily anyway.
Why not make at least 1 menu choice healthy (and tasty) and include healthy-eating education in health class or gym class?
Expand the Health
Fast food chains are more applicable to this new law because their menus do not normally change much from day-to-day.
Several Public Health Council members have questioned why this law should not be picked up nationwide, and they have a good point. Watch your local TV, newspaper, or online news source as the calorie-count laws might be coming to your state sooner than you think.