I read an interesting study out of the States that looked at calorie counts on restaurant menus.
The obesity problem in the U.S. is out of control. In the last fifty years, the prevalence of obesity has tripled. It’s estimated that obesity cost $147 billion per year in the U.S. alone.
In this randomized field study, three researchers looked at the behavior of 5,500 diners at two restaurants. The control group was allowed to order off the menu in a restaurant that provided no caloric information. The other group of study participants ordered at a restaurant that included calorie counts on their menu board. It turned out that knowing the calorie count results in people ordering meals that were 45 to 50 calories lighter.
People often don’t know the calorie count of what they are eating. Despite everything, despite all of these crazy exercises, super pills, Botox, liposuction, and the like, the world is still getting fatter and fatter.
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Instead of big tobacco promoting cigarettes, iwe have big food promoting high-calorie foods. As a result, government agencies are saying to these food chains, “Hang on a minute, you guys, you need to put calorie information up there to show consumers what they’re eating.” And then, of course, the fast-food chains come back saying, “We can’t do that. If we do that, we’re going to lose profits.”
Profits, my foot. What about the $147 billion in care? That’s the cost of looking after diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions associated with junk food and obesity.
Any time you eat fewer calories is a step in the right direction. Every calorie less you eat is less extra fat, protein, and sugar that your body doesn’t need. We live in an ocean of food today, and yet many people are still malnourished. That’s the crazy part.
Don’t forget the best exercise you can do is to push the plate away. Don’t laugh. I’ve seen it work many times.