Food Nutrients Labeling in Fast Food Stores

I have just read an article from NBCNews.com, “People think they’re eating less than they are, survey finds” By Maggie Fox, Senior Writer, NBC News on May 24th, 2013.

People think they’re eating less than they are, survey finds – NBCNews.com

NBCNews.com: People think they’re eating less than they are, survey finds. By Maggie Fox, Senior Writer, NBC News. People may realize that fast food isn’t health food, but they don’t realize just how fattening it really is,

From this article:-

“They surveyed people eating at 10 burger, chicken, sandwich and doughnut chains and found they greatly underestimated just how much they were chowing down. The worst was Subway, which promotes itself as a healthier alternative, the researchers at Harvard Medical School found.”

“At least two thirds of all participants underestimated the calorie content of their meals, with about a quarter underestimating the calorie content by at least 500 calories,” Harvard’s Jason Block and colleagues wrote in the British Medical Journal.

“They believe the new labeling requirements will do a lot to help people understand how much food they really are getting in a fast-food restaurant.”

 

After reading this article, I have a few thought in mind now.

There is a mobile app that would automatically compute the amount of calories that one will consume in a day. This just shows how health experts and organizations are concerned about helping people in knowing the amounts of nutrients in certain foods. Fast food stores are often blamed for obesity, which are now encouraged to list on the menu board the amounts of nutrients of all meals.

Personally, I believe that even if fast food stores are transparent about the exact amount of calories on a menu board of a fast food chain, most people would still not care.

Let me tell you why.  Fast food comes very cheap.  It is very convenient – you can just drive through, fall in line, order, and in a few minutes you have a meal that can satisfy your hunger without much worrying and wasting much time in preparing your meal.

I can always compare fast food in a bag of potato chips, the number of calories, fat and trans fat are written there, but people still buy it, anyway. The ones who are keen on keeping a healthy lifestyle most likely would not even dream of eating a burger at “Fast Food Restaurant”.

Maybe writing the amount of calories on the menu will make some people double take and consider whether they should or should not consume a burger or a sandwich from “Fast Food Restaurant”, but the thing is if they really wanted to eat healthy they should eat a home-cooked meal, prepare one for themselves before leaving for work or anywhere for that matter.

What kind of healthy meals do you expect from a fast food store?  Do you expect freshness from canned tomatoes? It is exactly a similar thing. You do not look for healthy foods in a fast food chain. You look for healthy foods in an organic or a vegetarian restaurant.

I see nothing wrong in being transparent about the actual number of calories a fast food-burger or sandwich has, at least it makes people more aware. Would it result in fewer patrons? I doubt. Again, the issue here is affordability and convenience. Fast food is cheap, convenient and fast, hence, the name – fast food.


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