Editorial board Dec. 2


Next year, the menu at your favorite fast food joint will look different.

Two weeks ago the FDA announced rules that will require posted calorie counts on menus at chain restaurants, movie theatres and pizza parlors. The rules will apply to chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets, according to a New York Time’s article. The rules will also include alcoholic beverages that are listed on a menu. Food in vending machines and prepared food at supermarkets are also included.

Health experts have said that the labeled menus will help combat obesity rates.

“This is one of the most important public health nutrition policies ever to be passed nationally,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, according to an article published in the New York Times. “Right now, you are totally guessing at what you are getting. This rule will change that.”

Members of The Spectator Editorial Board have mixed opinions about the calorie counts reducing obesity. One member said that the labeled menus may help reduce obesity rates and five members said the labels will not help the obesity rate.

One member said this is just another instance of people not wanting to take responsibility of their bodies. The member said that the food you eat is your responsibility, and while this new rule may be a good idea, people need to take responsibility of the effects of the food they eat.

“Since there will be calorie counts on menus, the consumer cannot blame the restaurant,” another member said.

Another member said the accuracy of the calorie counts is questionable since recipes and serving sizes change from line cook to line cook.

“At the end of the day, if you are going out to eat, you are going to eat what you want to eat,” the member said.

One member said nutritional information is already available if you look for it. So, while the display of the calories may help sway meal decisions, the member said they are not sure if seeing the calorie contents will change choices.

The one member who thought the display of calorie counts could help cut down obesity rates considered the change in menus, which could also raise food prices, which in turn may motivate families to sneak a bag of Chex Mix into the movie theatre instead of gorging on a tub of popcorn.

The staff editorial reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board and is written by the Op/Ed Editor. Columns, cartoons and letters are the opinion of the author/artist and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Spectator as a whole.