I am constantly struggling with my weight. If I don’t walk about 5 miles a day I gain weight — and if I eat out with any regularity at all I gain weight. The switch that makes my brain relate what I’m eating to my weight and health just shuts off when I’m at a restaurant. And without that switch — I’m out of control.
Ezra Klein is discussing that experience in his post, Calorie Labeling In Action, today
All quite delicious. When I got back to the office, though, I decided to see what it added up to. First, I looked up the cookie. A solid 450 calories, with 19 grams of fat. Yikes. But what might have actually changed my purchase was knowing the content of my sandwich: According to the nutrition calculator, 525 calories.
The calories in the cookie weren’t startling. But their calories relative to my sandwich proved a bit off-putting. I could pretty much have ordered a second sandwich for the caloric cost. Buying them without the information, it was easy enough to just consider them a side dish. As it happened, the cookie was more like a second lunch. I wouldn’t have ordered a second lunch. Good to know.
I had that EXACT experience with a Subway sandwich and a cookie a few years ago. Their cookies are only in the 200 calorie range but, they’re puny. I got two that day (440 calories) and NEVER did it again.
When it comes to calories knowledge isn’t just power — it’s control. And it’s not just me:
The following table comes from a Health Impact Assessment prepared by the County of Los Angeles on calorie labeling laws. It shows how much of the whole county’s projected weight gain would be averted if calorie labeling got X percent of restaurant patrons to make average decisions that were Y calories smaller
Follow the links and take a look (Ezra has a link to a graph) — it’s pretty impressive! And since it’s likely you won’t find the label on the menu at your favorite restaurant, spend a couple of minutes looking at the nutrition information on their website before you go.
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Filed under: Health | Tagged: Calorie Labeling, Ezra Klein, Health Impact Assessment, Subway | 47 Comments »