I know I’m a few days (or a week) late posting this, but I definitely wanted to jot down a bit about the fact that Massachusetts recently adopted strict fast-food menu rules similar to the ones we have here in New York.
As of November 1, 2010, restaurant chains with 20 or more in-state locations will be required to post calorie counts next to each item on their menus or menu boards, including those at drive-throughs (something other states, such as California, do not require).
This applies to 50 restaurant chains with a combined 5,800 locations.
You can read more about it here.
Personally, I think that it’s a good idea to provide consumers with nutritional information. It provides them with another tool to help them make good choices. If you want a high-calorie treat, you don’t have to sacrifice it; you can balance your day accordingly to make room for it if it’s something you really want. Knowing how much a muffin will set you back can help you decide if it’s worth eating.
However, it is important to consider that this does belie a deeper imbalance—and that is that Americans have a really tense relationship with food that continues to grow more and more tense. There are other issues we should be addressing, but for now, I think that this can help people gain some control and learn to take responsibility for their own health.
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