Writing a review about a restaurant and either praising or criticizing the meal is easy. Writing a post to tell people to stay away from calorie-heavy foods served in restaurants is a bit hard. Despite my public health education, it’s not easy telling people (except for my family whose diet I make my business for obvious reasons) what they should and should not eat.
Most people love eating, that’s how the “foodie culture” came about. Our desire to eat what we want, when we want, is easily satisfied by the food and restaurant industries, with the latter being a $660.5 billion industry. There’s a lot of money at stake – your, my, his, her, and their money particularly.
As restaurants “boost their bottom line” by luring us with tasty foods at affordable prices, we, on the other hand, are boosting our bottoms. So what should we do then?
Be picky about the restaurant you go to and be picky about what you eat in your restaurant of choice. This is not easy when there’s a party you have to attend and it’s planned by someone else; but at your own time and when you’re asked for suggestions, be picky. The Center for Science in the Public Interest published their “Xtreme Eating 2013” list of restaurants with menus that could set your weight a pound or more on the plus side. If you really, really must have that Bistro Shrimp Pasta from The Cheesecake Factory, consider sharing it or request to have half (or more!) of it packed for later consumption.
Beginning this year, the FDA Proposed Labeling Requirements for Restaurants will take into effect, which marks an even bigger step forward towards raising awareness when it comes to health and nutrition. Thank you, Obamacare! No longer are diners in the dark about their calorie consumption since a federal policy is helping out with our health by mandating nutrition labeling in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments.
No one’s stopping you to have your pie and eat it too. But always be aware that the pie comes with a price. You can give the food and restaurant industries your money… but don’t give them your health.