Monday, April 8, 2013

Updating the Menus

Panera bread has changed up their menus.  They might have done it a while ago, but I'm not a frequent flyer at the chain, so I didn't notice until my recent visit.

Their menu boards have a new addition.  And I'm not sure how I feel about it.

They've added calories to each item on the menu board.

Now, a part of me cheered when I saw them, because it means I won't have to tap the keyboard to find *that* number anymore.  (Yes, I'm still keeping meticulous food records, but that's another post.)  It is definitely convenient to have them listed right there.  But........

I was a little disturbed to see them there, too.  I am not sure how I feel about calories being posted right there on the board.  I'm concerned.  I'm concerned that it's going to create an even more twisted sense of health.  I mean, we're already living under a warped sense of beauty, what, with the childhood obesity crisis, the fact that eating disorders are being diagnosed in grade school kids, and the fact that adults are knocking themselves out trying to fit into society's expectation of "healthy" looking.

So, is putting calorie amounts on a menu board going to feed the problem?  Is it going to create more eating disorders?  More anxiety over healthy eating?  More neurosis?  Are we setting the current generation up for failure in the food department? I mean, I would *love* to go back to the days when I wasn't calorie obsessed.  I look forward to when the day comes that I no longer need to do so.  Won't posting calories on the menu board make everything worse?

Go ahead, read up, you can let me know what you think....!
Slate: 12.19.12 - Calorie Menu Labeling: Will Fast Food Turn Healthy?
Forbes: 09.17.12 - Calories on Restaurant Menus won't make us eat more, but...

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So? What do you think?