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Let the eater beware

June 16, 2009

In 2010, Philadelphia will follow in the footsteps of New York City, San Francisco and Seattle when a law goes into effect requiring all chain restaraunts in the city with more than 15 locations to list nutritional information right on the menu.

menu cropAnd soon, the whole country could follow suit, if the government passes a similar peice of legislation.  Could something as simple as supplying caloric info really help in the fight against obesity?  Temple’s Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education, thinks so.  Of Philadelphia’s legislation, he said, “The elegance of this bill is in the simplicity, give people information at the point that they order.”

“It’s certainly better than the position that consumers are in now, where they have to back to a web site or have a walking encyclopedia of caloric information in their head,” he said. 

He raises a good point: how many times do we sit down at a restaraunt, thinking we’re making a healthy choice, only to find out later that salad was really just as bad – if not worse – than the burger you could have had.  For a sobering look at what’s good and not so good when dining out, check out “Eat This, Not That!”

It’s “caveat emptor” when going out to eat, and it Foster says it pays to be an informed consumer.  “If you have calorie information when you are choosing a 3 ounce muffin or a 6 ounce muffin, you will make a different choice.”

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