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Do posted Calorie Counts effect your meal decisions at restaurants?

 
 
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 07:48 am
Me? A Yes but not really would be my conditional answer.

If I'm at a fast food restaurant and trying to decide between two tough choices, I'll go for lesser calorie option to break the impasse.

Do you live in areas where chain restaurants are legally obliged to post calories counts? If not, would you want to have them posted out in the open for everyone to see and use if they so choose? Do you or would you make your meal decisions based on these posted calorie counts?


Do posted calorie counts help people make healthy choices?
Several studies show that consumers still order what tastes good, even when the nutrition information of a dish is posted on the menu.

Quote:
Next year menu labeling will go national; under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act chain restaurants with 20 or more locations will be required to post calorie counts on their menus.

For the rest of the informative article:
http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Food/2012/0829/Do-posted-calorie-counts-help-people-make-healthy-choices
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 07:51 am
@tsarstepan,
I'd be more interested in sodium and fat count details.
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 07:51 am
@tsarstepan,
Yes, but unfortunately they're rarely posted. Quiznos, of all places, is an exception around here. I also check online for calorie counts, if I can find them. Pizzeria Uno does not have the greatest #s (particularly when it comes to salt), but they have had calorie counts up longer than most places. SparkPeople and LiveStrong are two good places to find calorie counts online.

But this is also because I've been doing the diet/exercise/change lifestyle thing now for, eep, it'll be five years on January 1st. Before this, I know I would have looked, and possibly would have used the information, but not as religiously as I do now.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 09:44 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

I'd be more interested in sodium and fat count details.

I'm curious about the protein details when I'm choosing between sandwiches from Subway. I'd be petrified to find out the sodium details on the foot long subs I eat from Subway. Adds up quickly with all the extras I bet. Embarrassed
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 10:02 am
@tsarstepan,
I don't think it's required here -- I do see calorie counts sometimes though.

It's had an effect sometimes when it surprises me (something at Panera did, I think, and I stopped getting it).
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 10:26 am
@sozobe,
Yeah soz.
I would get those tuna torpedos at Quiznos, until I found out they were one of, if not the worst choice on the menu. I thought I was getting something smart.

Would it effect my meal decision? Sometimes, but not always. I too would be more interested in the fat, particularly the saturated fat, plus the calories.

If 2 or 3 things sounded equally good to me, I'd get the one with the lowest fat/saturated fat, with total calories as a secondary consideration.

If however, I went to a restuarant because I had a craving for a particular item, then that is what I would get.

There was a time in my life that I probably would not have gotten the item I was realy wanting, settling for something else. Now, I've learned that it's better to get what you really really wanted, rather than thinking later on "I should have gotten that"

0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 10:30 am
Sure makes a difference for me. When you see that the plate of Fettuccine is more than double the calories of any other dish on the menu, it affects your likelihood of ordering it.

I don't find it matters as much when choosing between items that are comparable - 2-300 calories from one dish to another is meaningless.

I keep my weight off in large part by drinking cold-ass ice water all the time. It takes work for your body to heat it up!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Stormwatch
 
  3  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 11:39 am
I never thought about it until recently when I spent a weekend in Vermont. There they do post calories and nutritional information in restaurants. It was definitely an eye opener for me and I made better choices because of it.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 12:08 pm
Yes! I have a sweet tooth, so I very often order ice-cream after a meal to satisfy that and clean my palate, but there's one restaurant I go to that posts the calorie count of every food item, including the desserts, and when I saw that the ice-cream sundaes had 700 calories, I immediately decided not to have one.
I had no idea they were that high in calories. I guess I was thinking it'd be about 400 calories - but never 700!
So if they hadn't posted the calorie count, I'd have unknowingly and inadvertently probably doubled my calorie intake during those dinners out.

I also like to go to subway because I know the sandwich I like is less than 300 calories and I get at least two servings of my daily vegetables to boot.
I don't like overly salty food, so I choose turkey breast and maybe ham - never salami or pepperoni or any of the other high-fat and heavily salted meats and cheeses.

I wouldn't really choose a lunch or dinner meal that was over 500 or 600 calories if I knew that. I'm pretty good about eating healthily anyway, but I do appreciate any direct indicators about what is actually ridiculously UNhealthy that I may not have been aware of.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 12:41 pm
@aidan,
Only a mere 700 calories? That's nothing!

I'll leave out the Gummy candy. Everything else stays!
Quote:
For Valentine's Day, Epic Meal Time returns to Jukebox Burgers & Bar Laitier to create a 35 gallon ice cream sundae loaded with various candies, chocolate and caramel syrups, donuts and pastries, candied bacon and "gay bacon strips". The ice cream alone weighs in at 190,400 calories with 10,080 grams of fat.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 12:49 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

I had no idea they were that high in calories. I guess I was thinking it'd be about 400 calories - but never 700!


Right, that's what happened to me too -- there was something that I knew wasn't healthy but I was thinking maybe 300 range, and it was actually like 800. Whoa!
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:37 pm
@sozobe,
And that was the choice that was the lowest in calories! The others were upwards of 800!
I really had no concept of that.

Tsarstepan - 700 calories is about half of my average daily intake- so that's enough to convince me to forego the pleasure. I'd rather grab a carton of ice-cream from the grocery store and have a scoop or two when I got home - and save the £4.00 extra that it would cost to have it in a restaurant anyway.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Sep, 2012 11:46 am
Nation wide effort to make calorie counts visible:
McDonald's Adds Calorie Counts And Maybe Grilled McNuggets To Menu
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/09/12/161002426/mcdonalds-adds-calorie-counts-and-maybe-grilled-mcnuggets-to-menu
0 Replies
 
MilonJones
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Mar, 2013 09:27 pm
@tsarstepan,
Hello Friends,

The people who are interested in making healthier decisions are probably the same one’s who look up the nutrition info online. I dare say that most people heading to McDonald’s aren’t as concerned with how many calories they’re consuming. The NPD group, a market research firm, did a study recently on the effect of calorie counts posted on menus. The study compared the orders of people both when calorie counts were available and when they weren’t. The difference between the two was small. On average the group ordered 1,021 calories worth of food when the calories were not posted. They ordered an average of 901 calories when they were. The study determined that most people who are going out to eat are looking to indulge and don’t pay too much attention to health.

Thanks and Regards,
Milon Jones
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Mar, 2013 09:49 pm
@aidan,
Just think of the efficiency, though. You could have it for breakfast, and not have to waste time eating for the rest of the day.
0 Replies
 
johnats
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 12:01 am
It does, but not necessarily between tiny variations. I go for different kinds of meal options based on their calorie count. I try not to over indulge myself.
0 Replies
 
 

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