Putting Calorie Counts On Fast Food Menus Won’t Make People Eat Less, Experts Say | HuffPost

I found this 2014 article in The Huffington Post over three years ago. It fairly clearly points out that putting calories on menus is a folly.

Putting Calorie Counts On Fast Food Menus Won’t Make People Eat Less, Experts Say | HuffPost

Americans will soon know just how many calories are in that fast food burger they’re about to buy. But that won’t necessarily make them think twice about buying it.

The Food and Drug Administration last week announced new rules requiring fast food chains, vending machine companies and other restaurants with more than 20 locations to list the number of calories in each of their menu items. The regulations, which came out of a provision of Obamacare, aim to help diners make “informed choices for themselves and their families,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg wrote in a press release.

But extra information may not translate into healthier choices, experts say. With a few exceptions, “the overwhelming majority of the research” finds that diners don’t eat less when restaurants post the number of calories in their meals, according to David Just, a Cornell professor who has researched how portion labeling influences food choice.

People who make dining decisions based on calorie counts already have a pretty good sense of how many calories are in a Big Mac or burrito, Just noted. And most diners who head to a restaurant chain go for a specific item and rarely look at the menu anyway, said Maeve Webster, a senior director at DataSsential, a company that studies food trends. If customers don’t look at the menu, they won’t see how many calories are in that serving of french fries.

Not all calories are equal
Calorie counting is stupid

“It will be a very rare case where a restaurant will full-on lose customers by putting calorie counts up there,” Webster said.

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This July 18, 2008, file photo shows a McDonald’s drive-thru menu in New York, printed with calorie counts for each food item.

Probably the biggest reason why adding calorie counts doesn’t typically change diners’ behavior is that many people “have virtually no understanding” of how many calories they should be eating or even what constitutes a healthy meal, Webster said. For some, calorie counts are just “white noise” on an already crowded menu, she said.

In some cases, listing the calories on the menu may even trick diners into thinking that unhealthy items are normal, Webster said. For example, if people see a 2,000-calorie burger at a variety of different restaurants, they could begin to think that a burger should have 2,000 calories. For some perspective, an average quarter-pound cheeseburger with ketchup on a bun has about 400 calories, according to FitDay, an online dietary and weight loss journal.

The FDA rules do offer some help for diners trying to make sense of calorie counts, by requiring that eateries post a statement that says: “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.”

Posting calorie counts may even push some people to eat more food rather than less, Webster suggested. Some people might think that higher calorie counts mean they’re getting more for their money, just as they do with bigger portion sizes.

A 2012 study on the impacts of New York City’s 2008 requirement to post calorie counts found that McDonald’s customers slightly increased their calorie intake after the rules took effect.

It’s also not uncommon for restaurants to add a super-high-calorie item to the menu to make a slightly less-heavy meal look healthier to customers, Just said. He added that he wouldn’t be surprised to see restaurants try this tactic as the calorie count rules go into place.

Some research does show that restaurants make their dishes healthier in response to requirements to post calories. And most of the research on the impacts of calorie counts has focused on short-term results and fast food chains, according to Brian Elbel, a professor at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service who studies how people make decisions that influence their health. We still don’t really know much about what the long-term effects of the policy might be, or how the rules might affect fancier establishments, he said.

Elbel’s own research on the topic has found that fast food diners take note of calorie information when restaurants post it, but don’t change the number of calories they eat or the number of times they visit the restaurants.

But research focused on fast food may not be a reliable predictor of how calorie counts affect behavior in other contexts, Elbel said. That’s because people typically don’t head to fast food restaurants with the intention of ordering something healthy. They’re looking for something that’s cheap and quick.

Health may be more of a priority when ordering at sit-down chains, which are included in the FDA’s rules, Elbel said. There, seeing the calorie difference between a steak and fish dish could influence a diner’s order, especially given that meals at sit-down chains probably have more calories than most diners think.

— Read on m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_6220628 

Bread! And What To Do With It After Storm Emma

Halo Café owns this stuff

Stuff to do with stale bread after Storm Emma

This is not a recipe book. Just a few ideas to use up any bread you might have hanging around after the storm.

Quick and easy stuff to do. Flavoursome and filling. You have loads of snow to be clearing. You need to stock up on some calories to fuel that hard work.

Recipes to use up stale bread

French toast – Eggy bread

3 eggs
Splash of milk
Bread cut into triangles
Oil for frying

Heat frying pan with a little oil
Whisk up eggs, milk, salt
Dip both sides of bread to soak up the egg.
Fry both sides

Serve with sweet or savoury accompaniments.
Maple syrup, honey, rashers, mixed berries . . .

Bread and butter pudding
Eggs, cream, milk, sultanas, butter, sugar.
Later buttered bread and sultanas
Make a custard
Pour over, leave for 10 minutes. Bake

Summer pudding
Frozen summer fruit

Using your nutri- bullet, blender, food processor
Rip up the bread into small pieces, blend/grind into bread crumbs.
Melt butter in a pan
Add crumbs, herbs, salt, pepper
Mix together store in fridge for later

If you want to make bread crumbs for breading or coating you can dry out the bread in a low oven. Grind into fine breadcrumbs.

As mentioned this isn’t a recipe book. Just a few ideas. If you are interested in any of these dishes you can always Google them!

See you all on Monday 


Celbridge The Gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East – Tourist Information

Information for a tourist visiting Celbridge

There are only two vital pieces of Celbridge tourist information that you need when visiting The Gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East.

Celbridge tourist information - the gateway to Ireland's Ancient East
Tourist Information in Celbridge

The first item that you really need to know about when visiting Celbridge is where to find refreshment. Halo Café is located just off the Maynooth Road right beside the front door of Tesco. Established in 2009 it has a history of mildly amusing blackboard signs and providing great homemade food and fantastic scones.

Parking in Celbridge

Please be aware that parking in Celbridge can be expensive if you ignore the obscure signs, odd timings and efficient traffic wardens.

The simple alternative is to park beside Halo Café. You are then free to pick up a picnic and explore the Celbridge tourist trail at your leisure.

Celbridge tourist trail and Arthur’s Way

You may like to follow this link to a Walking Tour of Celbridge. It features some of the places of historical interest in Celbridge.

Arthur’s Way is a longer trail that may require some extra planning. It is 16km in length and is probably best carried out by bicycle.

Picnic time

If you are planning a visit to Celbridge we are more than happy to arrange picnics for your party. Please call us on 0035316276686. 

If you wish to use Halo Café as a meeting place after your tour you are most welcome. We have real Italian coffee and homemade scones.

Meeting Point

We have found, over the years, that Celbridge is an ideal meeting point for tourists. Fly into Dublin Airport, pick up your hire car, and head to Celbridge.

We recently hosted a breakfast where friends from New York, Florida, Birmingham (the English one) all met up in Halo. The were heading off to Mayo to a rented holiday home.

We are in a really handy location. You can get your breakfast at Halo Café. Pick up sunscreen and insect repellent at Walsh’s Pharmacy and a rain jacket in Tesco.

If you are heading to The Wild Atlantic Way you will need these items for sure. Experiencing four seasons in one day is a definite possibility.

Enjoy your stay in Ireland and keep following Halo Café for travel advice, pearls of wisdom and general lunacy .  .  .

For a full look at what to do, where to stay and where to eat in Celbridge click on this link for Discover Celbridge

Heritage Week in Celbridge

Celbridge Food

Heritage Week in Celbridge for history, activities and good Irish food

Looking forward to Heritage Week in Celbridge.

We have a couple of lectures on our post-graduate program relating to Blackboard Studies.

  1. Calcium Carbonate (chalk) – 90 million years BC to the present day. 3 years of study and a dissertation.
  2. Halo Café Blackboards 2009 to the present day. About 25 minutes over a mug of coffee and a scone.

Choose the course that suits your own time frame. . .

Heritage week and Celbridge Food
Heritage Week including Irish Food week

Here are some other activities to enjoy during Heritage Week 2017.