Calorie Counts Strike Again

Eventually we'll all be reduced to eating this.

NYC's chain restaurant calorie posting rule is going national.  I have thoughts.  Knowing what you're putting in your mouth is all well and good, but you all know my general opinion of the NYC reg, as I've been over it before.  Allow me to pontificate again, briefly.

When are we finally going to start talking about the underlying cultural issues behind the supposed need for calorie posting, and behind the very real need for expanded eating disorder treatment centers.  Disordered eating of any stripe does not happen in a void, people.  That's not to say that everyone who eats at a chain restaurant has disordered eating habits.  Far from it.  It is to say, for the umpteenth time, that the yin-yang of the obesity "epidemic" and our cultural deification of thinness aren't going ANYWHERE until we figure out, at a collective level, what purpose the food (or the lack thereof*) is serving.

* And I won't even get into the vitriolic, mean-spirited discussions about poverty and nutrition.  There's such a pervasive stink of privilege in most of those debates that if I start to focus on the self-perpetuating nature of poverty and poor diet, I just get plain depressed and decide that there is no point in trying to help anyone.  So I'm not gonna go there.


  1. Do you suppose that there is anyone in the country who is going to walk into a McDonald's, see the nutrition information for a Big Mac and exclaim, "Wow! I had no idea fast food was bad for you! I'll go get an apple now!"

    I don't think so.

  2. Right. It's like... it's like... okay, if I may be gross: it's like someone who keeps getting athlete's foot, and their doctor keeps writing them prescriptions for Lamisil, and telling them how gross and stupid they are, but never asking, "So, are you wearing dirty, wet socks a lot? Oh, you only have one pair of socks and shoes with really poor ventilation and no means to get more socks and better shoes? Okay, here's a place where you can get better shoes and more socks for a discount." And then the person stops coming in for Lamisil prescriptions.


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