When we were in New York a couple of months ago, Mrs MSE and I walked into a restaurant in order to have a healthy salad. Then we saw on the menu that they were 1,600 calories each…
We don’t have that kind of info on British menus. However yesterday’s Sunday Times reported the Government wants our restaurants to follow suit, and they might even be regulated if this doesn’t become widespread.
Certainly from a health perspective it works. After seeing the calories and fat content of the salad, it totally changed our attitude to it. Mrs MSE was put off eating it altogether, and I had it but then knew in the evening I’d have to be more careful of what I ate.
Of course for those who don’t watch or care about their calorie intake, this would have very limited impact (I would’ve been one of them until eighteen months ago, see my I lost a stone in six week blog). But for those who try and balance their food, the extra info is of course helpful.
It’s not very ‘romantic’ though
However while it’s practical, it’s hardly romantic to think the tasty treat you’re about to eat provides enough calories to feed the army of a small country; it somewhat bursts the bubble.
Thus far, restaurants in the UK haven’t been that willing to follow suit. I remember reading a trade publication article a couple of months ago, in which many in the profession voiced their objection, saying it’d be expensive to introduce and could ruin the experience of going out to eat.
I can understand their point of view, perhaps they don’t want to leave just a touch more guilt on the bill than people would like.
Yet overall I think we’re currently in a relatively perverse situation. All food packaging in a supermarket must give you nutritional info, but it’s never mentioned when you’re eating out.