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Do Posted Calorie Amounts Affect Your Food Choices?

While traveling last weekend, I found myself hungry for breakfast and came upon a Panera Bread. I thought it'd be a great place to pick up some fruit and a bagel, but when I walked in, my taste buds had a different agenda. Yummy baked muffins stared at me from behind the glass display and I was tempted to order a carrot walnut muffin instead, until I noticed that the calorie amounts were posted right next to it. 440 calories! For one muffin?! I was psyched to see that Panera has the calories posted for all their menu items, but I quickly changed my mind.

Tell me . . .

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Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't eat out at restaurants very often, mostly because a lot of the food IS so high in calories and preservatives. But when I do eat out, I always check the calorie count for what I'm going to order. Especially since a lot of places have something that appears healthy, like a salad, that actually packs in 2000+ calories.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
Absolutely! I was aghast by the number of people here in Seattle that were so POed that it became law to post nutrition facts for food in, I think, all chain restaurants. I understand how some people get caught up in the whole "It's my body, my health, leave the gov't out of it" attitude, but I was so disappointed in the number of my friends that said they'd rather be blissfully unaware. Really? That 900-calorie ice cream shake isn't going to be any less unhealthy for you if you don't look at the numbers. Besides, if you genuinely don't care, then how would seeing the numbers effect you at all? I'm so grateful for the nutrition fact sheet! I may take a little longer to order, but it's worth it in the end! :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
It sure does.
I am so very happy that calories are posted in certain restaurants and chains. Knowledge is power so I can make better decisions about what I eat when I go out. Also, it gives you a good idea of calories in the food you cook at home and oftentimes you can make the same thing in restaurants for far less fat and calories.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 7 years
If I really wanted that muffin, and then saw the calorie number, I would still get it, just share it with someone. It seems pretty large for a muffin, and half of it (220 calories) is reasonable.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Oh yes! And you know, I had always ordered the tomato soup at Panera thinking that tomato soup has to be relatively low-cal in comparison to everything else, then when they started posting the calories last year, I was shocked to see that it is actually the worst soup!
Dana18 Dana18 7 years
Most of the fast food and chain restaurants in NY have the calorie camout on their menu's. I find it helps me make a better decision on what is healthier to eat.
jnnfrcyl jnnfrcyl 7 years
I wish every restaurant posted their nutritional information directly on the sign, just like this!
bisou002 bisou002 7 years
I absolutely pay attention to those numbers! I live in Manhattan, where it is now a legal requirement for many chains to post calorie content and I completely love it. I don't find it obnoxious at all; I figure, if you're going to list the price of the item, why not also include the calories? It's not being shown in flashing, red lights.
pariahlegal pariahlegal 7 years
I was just talking about this with a friend the other day! Every time I go into a Panera, I want to hug the person behind the counter when I see those numbers up on the board. I think restaurants taking that kind of proactive stance on nutrition would be a great step in the right direction. Also, since i watch my calories like a hawk, being able to make informed choices takes some of the terror out of eating at restaurants.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
It all depends on how many more calories I can eat that day. Usually, I stick to around 1200, because I am still trying to lose weight. If I eat anymore, my 2 lb goal p/week is not going to work out. 440 cals for a muffin is insanity. Sometimes I can make a lunch with a variety of food and only end up just pushing 300. A 440 cal burger? I'm cool with that, but I'm not wasting calories on things that really have no reason to be 440 cals. Even a burger has no reason to be 440 calories!
skigurl skigurl 7 years
YES I totally pay attention to it. I've only seen it done at one place, but I absolutely 100% catered my choice to the calorie count, even though it was 10 at night, I was on vacation, I hadn't eaten much all day, was starved, and under other circumstances, would have pigged out. But I made a healthy choice. For a muffin, that's one thing (though 440 is a lot) but I was in a restaurant where things were like 1500 calories. Gross.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
Usually, yes. But if I'm having one 400 calorie muffin in a month, and I really, really, really want it, I'll still go for it.
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
sometimes - usually, if i know in my mind what my selection is and why i'm having it (maybe it's the speciality of the eaterie or i haven't had it in a long time, or it's a fave of mine) the caloric content doesn't bother me much. but i never purchase food out impromptu- because i know how incredibly caloric the most simple of eaterie foods can be, i have to plan light meals to eat before and after...this habit usually confounds friends & fam who will just buy the first appetising thing they see, regardless of what they have/will eat the rest of the day
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 7 years
No, not always. I try to make the right choices 80% of the time, but if I'm craving a muffin...I'm going to get a muffin. I do think that restaurants should have nutritional info available readidly for consumers, but I do not agree with it being posted right in your face. It's obnoxious.
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 7 years
MOST DEFINITELY!!! I'll change my mind so fast if I see a ridiculous number like your 440cal muffin! I can't wait til ALL restaurants are required by law to have their nutritional information posted. I mean, really it's a step in the right direction from saving (esp) Americans from dying from obesity!! We have a right to know!
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