A single slice of Starbucks pumpkin spice bread hits 390 on the calorie counter, 140 calories more than most Jenny Craig dinners. A 250-calorie dinner is far fewer calories than most people consume, but it's part of my efforts to maintain a more healthy weight. It only works, though, if I stick as closely as possible to the program, and make good choices when dining out. But dining out, as it is for most of us, is a calorie minefield for which we have no map.
According to this CTV News segment last night, the Toronto Board of Health has voted to pressure the province to implement menu labelling legislation in certain restaurants. The idea is to post calorie and sodium count on the menu boards at a range of restaurants in Ontario. At the moment, it's a voluntary service, without many participants. Even Starbucks, which already has all the calorie-count information on display in other countries, doesn't do it in Canada. You have to go to their website to get nutritional info. Drives me nuts.
I'm a huge fan of having calorie and sodium levels posted on restaurant menus everywhere (not just fast-food restos). It wouldn't stop me from eating out, and it won't stop me from making a high-calorie decision occasionally (via dim-sum-fests at Rol San, or congee-and-fried-rice joy at Congee Time). But at least it would allow me to adjust the rest of my day's/week's consumption accordingly, whether I'm grabbing a snack or indulging at a favourite eatery. It's just helpful.
A program like this is likely costly for a business owner to implement. And some may feel it might negatively affect business. But overall, we beautygeeks are in favour.
What's your opinion? Would visible calorie/sodium labelling turn you off? Would it make you change your order? Would you find it a helpful service that makes maintaining a healthier lifestyle a little bit easier?