Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Battle Against Fast Food Calories Continues

As the battle against what some call the epidemic of obesity, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules that will require restaurant and fast food chains to post the calorie amounts on their menus.

These rules, by the way, also apply to vending machines, coffee shops and convenience and grocery stores but not to movie theaters, bowling alleys or airliners.

Despite all the efforts of Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, nutritionists and many politicians who have been trying to make us see the light, the truth is, there has been little or no progress against this obesity issue.

While the proponents of these new rules may be thrilled, most of us don't care.

"Nobody thinks that calorie information by itself solves the problem, but it's part of the tool kit," FDA deputy commissioner for foods Michael Taylor said in a brief interview. "We see this as part of the overall effort to fight obesity."

The exemption of movie theater refreshment stands is a big win for the National Association of Theater Owners.
But that came about because of  fierce lobbying, and really, who is counting calories while asking for extra butter on their popcorn?

Public health officials pulled soda pop out of school vending machines and come up with healthier school lunches, and we've seen what a disaster that's turned out to be. menus.

The new rules, would apply to food chains with 20 or more locations, like, McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy's just to name a few.
With this, customers will see calorie counts next to the burgers, fries and shakes they are about to order, hoping to warn us, scare us or simply make us feel guilty.

The FDA hopes to have this done by the end of the year.

These calorie counts would have to be displayed prominently on all menus and menu boards, including at drive-through locations.

Fast- food companies say they may have to shrink the number of items they put up on menu boards in order to make room for the calorie counts and that will hurt sales.

The menu provision was part of last year's health care law, which intended to have a tax on sugared beverages but that ended after lobbying from the soft drink industry.