'Make that a low-fat muffin with my hot chocolate' | January 15, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 15, 2010

'Make that a low-fat muffin with my hot chocolate'

Stanford University study probes impact of calorie postings on consumers' choices

by Chris Kenrick

Do people eat smarter if calorie counts are posted on the menu?

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be e-mailed at ckenrick@paweekly.com.


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Posted by Larry 44
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The study and conclusions are rediculous. The posting of calories by menu item will not sway one from eating whatever they want. There are not any consequences to being obese other than dying earlier than expected and costing the rest of the population enormous amounts of money for insurance and taxes to tell rational people that if they become obese and stay that way life may become uncomfortable. The only way to impact the problem is to charge people who are overweight more for their medical insurance and or taxes. If you think that a person that has been told to lose weight by a doctor and dosen't do it what effect do you think posting calories in menu will do.

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Posted by Steve 22
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Well "Larry 44", if you were a little younger, you would know that obese people rarely get laid. Young people don't care about dying earlier, but we do care about our sex lives. I am all for making calorie information easily available if it helps my sex life.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Air France to charge obese passengers for two seats
Obese passengers who are unable to squeeze into a single seat on an airliner are to be charged double to fly with Air France.Web Link

From next month seriously overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for “safety reasons”, the airline announced yesterday.

“People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat,” said Monique Matze, an Air France spokesman.

Ironically you do not see that many obese French people, but having obese people pay double to fly is a real incentive to loose weight.

Wait a minute, this could be a new argument for building HSR through Palo Altans back yards-- to help overweight people get to Fresno from RWC less expensively---

As I recall the Stanford Faculty Club has had health metrics on the menus for 25 + yrs--- there is a good sample size to study the case-- should be easy to estimate the weight of Stanford Faculty and their use of the Faculty Club food before and after.
It may turn out that a lot of the difference is because smoking rates have declined so dramatically.

The calorie count in fast food chains like McDonalds has been available for many years-- it does not seem to have made a difference.

Banning transfats would make a big health difference

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:03 pm

The posted calories make a difference to those who care about what they are feeding their own body ! Fresh choice has calories posted .. they are helpful !

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Posted by Alan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

Ideally I'd like to see both the calories and the nutrition information on a menu. Perhaps on a different card that someone could ask for if they care. As far as making it mandatory, I'm not so sure though. How would a small restaurant owner figure that kind of stuff out? Maybe it should only be mandatory for large chain restaurants though.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

The California law only applies to chains of 20 or more restaurants. The law was signed by Arnold last year, but doesn't go into effect until next year.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.