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Calories on the menu!

Most people agree that by putting calories on the menu, it will encourage people to eat healthier when they are trying to choose what to eat from their favourite restaurant. (See article page 2, The Times, 17 February, 2011) Although this seems like a stunningly good idea  some of those restaurants who were involved in a voluntary pilot group the government put together were surprised to note that people did not seem to make their choices according to calories.  It seems that the people who are already aware are aware enough to make the choices naturally, and those that don’t make choices according to calories, dont care anyway!   I really do find this very hard to believe, espcially for those  involved as  professionals looking to “educate” the public but many people are simply going out to eat to have a good time and not to be preached at.

Just putting the calories on menus can miss the point too -  for example some fats (and therefore calories) can be beneficial (eg  Omega 3 fat in Salmon) An avocado sandwhich can have a huge amount of calories but is full of good fats whereas some fat is not the kind that is benefical to humans, like huge amounts of saturated fat.

Whilst it is a good idea to watch how many calories consumed in a day of course,  the calorie story on its own does nto put the food into context.  It is important to know what the mirco nutrient content is too (vitamins and minerals).  It is possible to have a low calorie meal which has not contributed to over all health, and left the person starving and digging into a cream bun later on in the day.

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