by Matt Weik
I recently read an article about a study in the UK trying to get the government to enforce a guideline that menus in restaurants need a calorie label for each item. Their thinking process is that people who know how many calories they consume during the meal can be tempted to choose healthier meals. I would like to see how calorie labeling is introduced around the world, but I'm honestly not sure how big the difference would be. Let me explain.
Eating habits are hard to change
Have you ever tried to fail a diet miserably? Have you tried to prepare and eat healthier meals to lose weight? It probably did not take too long, did it? Well, you are not alone. The reason why many people fail is not only that most diets are not lifestyle diets, but also that it is extremely difficult to change a person's eating habits. Well, I will not say it's impossible, but it will definitely take some time and consistency.
The article I mentioned when I opened this article was about how menus in the restaurant that contain calories usually have healthier meals to choose from. Because of my experience here in the US, I do not think that is the case. I see different restaurants with calorie labels on their menu, but they do not serve healthier meals.
In the article they claimed when looking at British restaurant menus, those who had calorie labels had "on average 45% less fat and 60% less salt than products from other restaurants." That's alright and good, but we're leaving Also assume that these numbers are correct. I hate being the voice of pessimism, but we all know that brands around the world do not label their products properly. We therefore rely on what is on the menu of the restaurant and that we are indeed eating healthier meals.
One researcher said, "This is the first study to examine differences in the nutritional value of food from restaurants with and without food labeling in the UK. Overall, restaurants that provide calorie information on menus should also offer healthier meals in terms of fat and salinity. In addition to useful information for customers, mandatory menu labeling could also encourage restaurants to improve the nutritional value of their menus. "Again, I'm not saying that it will not work, I'm just saying that I'll believe it, when I do it, look at it
The road to obesity starts and ends with restaurants
It's a great idea to put calorie labels on the restaurant's menus – as long as the people opening the menu take care of the breakdown of the nutritional values they consume during their restaurant experience. Personally, I do not want the normal stuff that I eat at home while eating. If I had done that, I would just have stayed home. You can share the same feeling when I go out to eat something. It's for the atmosphere. Maybe you eat something that you would not normally eat (reason), or you treat yourself to a dessert to finish the meal? I do NOT see any menu in the restaurant as a reason for the obesity epidemic.
Here's the conclusion and what I mean by the headline above … Most people do not eat every meal of the day. At the most, I would assume that people would eat out once a day, but even then most would not consider it financially viable in the long run, since it is not cheap.
One of the doctors in the study said, "We found some items in the restaurant that far exceeded the recommended daily allowance for energy, fats, sugar and salt. More than a quarter of adults in the United Kingdom eat at least once a week, so portions that are too large or nutritionally unbalanced can contribute to a poor level of human nutrition. "
People do not get fat when they eat in a restaurant. They have to look at the food they eat in their mouths all day and all week long. Do you snack on fries all day? Do you start your morning with a bowl of sugary cereal? Do you drink normal soda instead of water all day? The list goes on and on. While it is a great idea to put calorie labels on restaurant menus to help consumers choose healthier meals, the idea that this will solve everything is ridiculous when you really understand diet and weight loss.
Nutritional labels are appropriate for every food we buy weekly at the supermarket, but the obesity rate continues to rise. So people are actually thinking that adding a calorie label to the restaurant's menu tempts consumers to opt for healthier meals while they eat? That will never happen.
One or even two meals a week will not change significantly in terms of health or weight loss. We're talking about maybe 2,000 calories from their weekly 14,000 calories, assuming they consume 2,000 calories a day. And I've focused on the two meals to eat the 2,000 calories twice a week (1,000 calories per meal). You can not just blame the meals you ate as a villain here.
An obesity health officer said, "We already know that calorie labeling on menus can lead people to healthier options. This study now shows that it also leads to outlets offering altogether healthier menus. We all have the right to know what's in the food we eat, whether we buy it in the supermarket or in a restaurant. Mandatory calorie labeling would allow this, and we now need the government to act promptly to implement that policy. "
I would like to stand on my soap box and shout that this will change the world, but unfortunately I do not see it. Sure, more and more people are learning how to eat healthily throughout the day – but that's not the vast majority of the population.
Are we going in the right direction when it comes to healthier meals and more transparency in food and labels? Yes. But we are far from having an impact when we see that the rate of obesity and those who are overweight is decreasing.