Who counts calories?

6 Apr


Brookline, MA is about to vote on a new health conscious initiative. The Globe describes the time line that led up to this new plan.

First, Brookline stamped out smoking in all restaurants and bars, a prohibition that became the model for a statewide ban. Then, it made state history by banishing artery-clogging trans fat from french fries, doughnuts, and other freshly prepared food peddled in the town.  Now, some residents want Brookline to be a public-health bellwether again, by ordering all restaurants – big fast-food chains as well as tonier dining salons – to prominently post calorie counts on their menus.

Although it doesn’t look like it will pass, the drive to post calories leaves me wondering who will care.  People aren’t stupid, everyone knows what is healthy food and what isn’t.  Does looking at the calorie counts do anything for people who are already eating unhealthy?  I believe the answer is no, I also believe that the counts are not going to be accurate.  Restaurants make things differently every day.

I definitely support the plan, I just think it needs to be paired with some more public awareness campaigns a la the “Truth Campaign.”  What if you saw a huge billboard that said, want to live 10 years longer?  Choose the salad instead of a burger.  Let’s get obese people to start taking care of themselves by any means necessary — guilt, shame, education, you name it.


2 Responses to “Who counts calories?”

  1. Sean 3.2.09 at 1:49 pm #

    Very true. The people who already eat unhealthy wouldn’t pay that much attention to calories posted in their menus. The issue as you said clearly isn’t people not knowing fast food is bad.

    Then what’s the root? Maybe consumerism. Maybe people are eating away their stress. Americans aren’t disciplined. We’re lonely. Etc. Those problems could take a long time to resolve though, and I don’t know how a state campaign could achieve it.

    The scariest part of gaining weight are all the costs. Health Care is rising 15% a year, which is why I consider my gym membership an investment.

  2. Ddhhdhdhdhdn 3.2.09 at 8:49 am #

    I think that you all are beautiful in many ways and that don’t bother about what anyone says because beauty is not what is on the outside.

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