Wednesday, September 12, 2012

McDonalds to Add Calorie Counts to Its Menu

Here's the original AP story:

McDonald's says it will start posting calorie counts on menus in restaurants across the country next week, ahead of a new regulation that will require the information.

The world's largest hamburger chain plans to announce the move Wednesday morning. It's making the change as it tests healthier menu items.

For example, McDonald's Corp. says it's testing an Egg McMuffin that's made with egg whites and a whole grain muffin. 

It's also testing versions of the McWrap, which are already sold in Europe and clock in at less than 350 calories. And the chain says it will offer more seasonal fruits and vegetables through its limited-time offers.

President Obama's health care overhaul will require chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts as early as next year.

Poor McDonalds. They always find themselves at the center of the obesity epidemic. They've become the whipping boy for activists and the government in their war against fat.

As a part of the government's war on obesity, this new law will require that calorie information be displayed on the menu itself at McDonald's and other restaurants around the country. I believe the government is stabbing at a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself.

It all goes back to motivation and desire within each of us. Most of us eat everyday without any idea of how much fuel (calories) we need and how much fuel (calories) are going into our mouths. And we like it that way. Ignorance is bliss, right? If most of our nation were honest, we'd say we don't want to know the calorie count in the food we eat.

The calorie information for McDonalds has been available for quite some time. It can be found online or even in the store. Some have even posted the pamphlet on the wall so you can see the nutritional information of that Big Mac before you eat it.

So why don't we want to know? Deep down in the recesses of our hearts and minds, the motivation to eat what we want, when we want, and in the amount we want tends to win out over the motivation to be fit and reasonable, eating only what our bodies require. We don't need more info, we need our motivators to be fixed. Their food is not to blame, we are. If we were all motivated to eat no more than we need, then McDonald's may not be as prosperous with their current food line-up.

Maybe seeing the raw numbers will motivate some, but I think in the end, it will mostly be information that will fall on deaf ears. There has to be an impetus within each of us to make us want to do something with that information. I am not sure the government can regulate that.

But hey, how often does the topic of counting calories show up in news headlines? At least it gets us talking.

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