Nutrition Labeling in Restaurants: Loving It!

I just have to tell you, one part of the new health care bill is making me ready to start dancing in the streets! Chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets will have to show calorie counts for every menu item AND indicate how many calories a normal, healthy person should be consuming. Its about time!

This info will be displayed on menus, on drive-thru menu signs, on food items in vending machines, and even on foods in buffet lines and salad bars.

Why is this party time for the nation? Over half of the money spent on food in the United States today is actually spent eating out. With 2/3 of our population now overweight or obese, we need all the help we can get.

When the calories are clearly posted, along side the 2000 calories the average American needs, the consumer will have more information to make their purchasing decision besides all the wonderfully effective marketing done on TV, billboards, colorful photos, and the like. How often have you been to a restaurant without prices on the menu? Never? I haven't either. We need the prices to determine if that item fits within our money budget for the meal. If we only have cash with us, let's say $20.00, and we order a $25.00 item, we're in a bit of trouble, right?

We need to start thinking like that with calories, too. Are our menu choices fitting in our daily calorie budget? If the large fries are 500 calories extra, and you are eating those every day as a "side," that could easily be 1/4 of the calories you need to eat all day!! Those extra pounds can creep up ever so quickly.

It's time to get this info posted. Everywhere. I want to know both prices of my food: dollars and calories. They both matter to me, and they should to you, too.

This is a starting point for health awareness, certainly not the full answer. It would be great to have grams of saturated fat, total fat and fiber listed, but we need to start somewhere! This is a good thing. What do you think?

Fire Up! Together, We Can Do This!