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Will food labels in restaurants help families make healthier choices?

Posted on Sep 30, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

I wrote a few months ago about my mother-in-law (ma) and my father-in-law (pa) who went out to dinner and were surprised to learn the calorie count of the dinner they ate. Read the story

I spoke with ma about the new law that is being proposed that would actually require restaurants chains to list their calories.

She told me that her and pa went back to the same restaurant for dinner. This time she did not quickly select a salad but wanted to look at the calories first. She could not find them on the back of the menu. She called over the waitress and asked her where are the calories listed for the meals. The waitress replied, "We took those off the menu because too many people were walking out of the restaurant when they read the calories!"

I have to say. I had a similar experience. I was also at a restaurant with my cousin and noticed that all the calories were listed. So I thought, "Great! This will make it easy for me to pick my lunch!" Nope. All the salads were over 1000 calories and the sandwiches were 750-900 calories. I was actually stuck and couldn't find something to eat because the calories were so high! I called over the waitress and she mentioned that many patrons had complained to her about the calories of their meals!"

It is a proven fact that most Americans underestimate the calories of foods, (and that includes me too) .

So I say to all those lawmakers that are taking so long to pass this restaurant food labeling bill (there a few currently being debated)

"This is a no brainer! Help us Americans eat healthier by giving us the information we need. We are facing a huge crisis with childhood obesity. We need this bill to pass now, not months or years from now. Do your job."

Please write your congressman to help get this bill passed.

In the meantime, there are some helpful tips you can use to help your child eat healthier when you eat out as a family.

Eating out Guide to helping your child make healthier choices.



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