If we are what we eat, how many calories is that? Find out what the FDA is proposing.

Recently, while standing in line at Starbucks for my morning coffee, I thought it would be nice to have little bite of something as well. I peered into the curved glass case averting my eyes from the glazed black and white cookies in a valiant effort to find a healthier, less frosted option. A nice croissant seemed to fit the bill until I noticed a small sign next to the plate: Butter Croissant 440 Calories.

A Wendy's menu with calorie counts. Photo by Flickr user yourdon

440 calories! That’s equivalent to a Double Cheeseburger from McDonald’s–and far less satisfying–in my opinion at least.

I was so glad that Starbucks had posted the nutritional information of everything in that case. I was only assuming that the croissant was a healthy option. The little sign made it possible for me to make a fact-based food choice. The fruit cup, please!

Starbucks isn’t the only place that’s begun to post calories. Cities like New York and Seattle already have laws in place that require all restaurants to post nutritional information on their menus, and the FDA has recently proposed legislation that could be bring the same laws to your town.

If passed, the law will require 280,000 establishments across the country to include nutritional information on their menus so diners can make informed choices about what they are ordering. This doesn’t include alcohol. (Does that mean there are no calories in a Pina Colada?)

Legislation like this is not surprising considering the growing trend in consumer demand for more information about their food. People want to know where it’s coming from and what is in it. They also want the option to have fresh, whole foods everywhere they go, not just the grocery store.

Philadelphia, where the National Constitution Center is located, has been taking it’s own measures to help meet that demand as detailed here by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.

What do you think? Do you want to know the nutritional information of the food you’re eating or is ignorance bliss?




  1. James says

    Quite frankly, if I want to know the content details of the food that I choose to eat, I will investigate. I have no idea why we need a government nanny-state looking out for me, requiring a business of any size to post information. As an American citizen I have the responsibility to look out for myself and resent yet another element of government control – in this case food information – that winds up costing me at the cash register.
    Consumer demand is one thing, government regulation (costly interference and compliance) is yet another erosion of my Liberty and does not pass Constitutional muster for a limited government.

  2. says

    I think restaurants should list the nutritional content with food. This is something I always look for on a menu. People would change their eating habits if they really knew what they were eating. Thanks for the info on the new FDA proposed legislation. I will be looking for that here in Minnesota!