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Nutritional information on restaurant menus

Nutritional information on restaurant menus empowers consumers to make healthy food choices

Friday, November 07, 2003
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: nutritional information on restaurant menus, restaurant menus, National Restaurant Association

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In case you hadn't noticed, we have an obesity problem in this country. And while the responsibility for each person's body weight is ultimately up to that person, it certainly helps to have better information made available to consumers.

Obesity is basically about eating too much while not expending enough caloric energy. And one of the primary sources of hidden calories in the diet of Americans is fast food. A Big Mac has something like 1200 calories in it. Given that the average person only needs 2200 calories a day, that one Big Mac is a whopping serving of extra energy (which will, undoubtedly, end up hanging around poor Joe's waistline).

To their credit, McDonalds publishes the caloric content of their foods. If you ask for it at any McDonalds restaurant, they'll hand you a nutrition facts sheet. But a lot of restaurants have no such policy, and they make no nutritional information available to their customers.

Herein lies the problem: restaurant foods are typically loaded with calories in places you might not suspect. That's because they're prepared with far more oil and sugar than people would use if they baked the foods on their own. If you require basic nutritional information on restaurant menus, such as grams of fat and total calories, you'll empower consumers with the information they need to make informed dietary choices.

That's good for consumers: especially people who are trying to lose weight. If you're on a diet, you simply have to know what you're eating. And presently, that means avoiding restaurants altogether.

The National Restaurant Association, of course, hates the idea of adding nutritional information to menus. It's not hard to imagine why: once people learn how many grams of fat and calories are actually contained in each menu item, they'll probably leave the restaurant in shock.

In addition, there's the added cost of reprinting all the menus and, inevitably, coming up with lighter menu items that calorie-conscious people can choose.

And that's the whole point, actually: by forcing restaurants to operate in plain sight, consumer demand will result in those restaurants altering their menus to sell more healthful items. It's a great system that relies on the free market and the free flow of information, not government mandates, to help people make healthier food choices.

In the end, however, the restaurant industry isn't about health. It's about profit. And informing customers about how fat they're going to get by eating a side order of eggrolls is simply not in the interests of restaurant owners. So they're going to fight this all the way.

But you can make a different, of course. Contact your representatives in Wsahington and let them know you support legislation requiring restaurants to list fat and calories on their menus.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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