Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can't unring a bell, baby

An article on MSNBC today described the "sticker shock" New York City residents are experiencing, now that a local law requires restaurants to post the calorie content of all their foods. (Brace yourselves, Seattleites; there's a similar statute coming for us later in the year, evidently.) So there is a great hue and cry, as it turns out that breakfast pastries and bacon cheeseburgers and a batter-dipped, deep-fried onion the size of your head are all sort of bad for you. Who knew? Next they'll try to pry the Trans-Fatty Butter Nuggets (now with extra High-Fructose Corn Syrup!) right out of our bloated, stubby fingers.

I don't know. I've spent so many years--decades, really--living with Diet Mind, finding one way or another to get obsessed with the details of food, be it calories or carbs or proteins, serving sizes, the time of day, the sequence in which nutrients are consumed, the demonization of bread or red meat or sugar...maybe I can't see the forest for the trees. But are people really surprised by these revelations? I'm not. Come on. Most of the time, I make pretty decent choices, peppered with occasional, terrible ones. All things in moderation! But I am not deluding myself into believing that a 64-ounce Bladder Buster Gulp and a bushel basket of crispy shrimp are okay.

The article concludes with a quote from a woman out dining with her friends at a T. G. I. Friday's. The fact that they have chosen to go there, in New York City, isn't the saddest part. This is:

“I’m so upset,” [Fowler] said, noting some entrees — like the Jack Daniels ribs and shrimp dinner — contain almost 2,000 calories, and the desserts were more of the same (the brownie obsession is 1,500 calories). “I wish they wouldn’t have done this.”

But then Fowler noticed that the waiter had handed her friend an old menu, which didn’t have calorie counts on it.

“You got a menu without anything on it?” she asked her friend. “Can I have yours?”

Oh, dear. Unless you are planning on just licking the laminated coating, honey, I don't think it works like that.

1 comment:

mike said...

Talk about a state of denial. Who could have imagined that the all you can eat ribs at Tony Roma's might net you a week's worth of calories? I mean, really, how can someone be expected to know such a thing? Next thing you know, people are going to start grousing that their meals at Claim Jumper have too many calories.

FWIW, fast-food restaurants have been posting their nutritional info for years, at least here in WA. If you want to know what a Big Mac is going to cost you, metabolically speaking, just consult the big poster that's posted not far from where you order your meal at McDonald's. Or, you know, just close your eyes and order two of them