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June 13, 2013

It's Right There in Front of Your Face

by Tracy Jensen

A recent study pointed out that over 50% of kids are not paying any attention to the posted caloric data in restaurants. What I want to know is, who is surprised by this groundbreaking news?

I mean, most kids don’t do their homework without prompting, clean their rooms, brush their teeth, or pick their dirty clothes off the bathroom floor. So why is it that we expect them to read the perfectly informative info set right there in front of them when they are ordering that will tell them the best choices if they would only just read it for crying out loud? Because they are kids, that’s why.

Here is what I have observed that kids can and will do: make choices based on what looks tasty, what fits their dietary restrictions (vegetarian, food allergies, etc.) and what they’ve been taught are healthy types of foods. But we all know that a rose is not a rose in every case. I mean, the restaurant industry can take something seemingly healthy like a salad and make it the unhealthiest thing in the place.

Rather than having restaurants adhere to a legal obligation of posting easily ignored calorie counts on the menu, wouldn’t it be better if things on the kid’s menu could be taken at face value, more of a “what you see is what you get”? If it LOOKS like a healthy meal, it should BE a healthy meal.

Do you think calorie data is helping kids and adults make healthier choices?

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