People have been pushing for years now to know the calorie counts in their food, from fast food and vending machine items to traditional restaurants. Oversized portions have become a way of life for those dining in these establishments, often chock full of fats and sugars, and not enough fiber or quality ingredients.
According to the article, “U.S. introduces menu calorie labeling to fight obesity,” on Reuters, the new rules address total calorie content of the food items and are intended to address the remaining food suppliers who are not currently required to list this information. With a third of meals being consumed from these types of sources, it’s not a bad idea to let the public know what they are eating.
However, it doesn’t include upfront representation of other nutritional information, such as calories from fat, cholesterol, sugars and protein, though these are available in writing by request.
While caloric count of items may be useful for those on very restricted diets, it doesn’t tell much about the quality of the actual food unless you take the time to scan a company website first. Transparency is helpful when it comes to food.
But this reinforces the need to focus on a number rather than helping people to listen to their bodies and learn to eat intuitively. And the latter is actually much more beneficial for overall health and well-being. Finding a way to be knowledgable about diet is a journey each of us would do best without being fixed on numbers. It also helps to keep guilt and “shoulds” from making choices for us.