McDonalds

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AlyssaEimers's picture
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McDonalds

I recently was in McDonalds on Sunday to get breakfast sandwiches for my family. They had a new campaign with all of the calories in each thing posted. I thought this was a good thing and told DH so. He disagreed and felt the Government should not be able to tell McDonalds they have to do that.

What do you think?

As an aside, to the other school lunch debate. One sandwich would take the whole calorie allotment for the meal not counting fries, a drink, or anything else.

Joined: 08/17/04
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I love that they do it but I don't think the gov't should be involved in forcing them to do so.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

I love that they do it but I don't think the gov't should be involved in forcing them to do so.

Just curious, why not? Doesn't a government agency (the FDA probably) regulate the nutrition info posted on packages of food in the grocery store?

I think it's great, and I don't see why it's a problem that the government is making them do it. The government isn't saying that people can't eat that food, they are just allowing people to be able to make informed choices. How is more information a bad thing?

wlillie's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Just curious, why not? Doesn't a government agency (the FDA probably) regulate the nutrition info posted on packages of food in the grocery store?

I think it's great, and I don't see why it's a problem that the government is making them do it. The government isn't saying that people can't eat that food, they are just allowing people to be able to make informed choices. How is more information a bad thing?

But where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government should make companies inform people about their food's calorie content?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
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Ditto what Lillie said

As an aside, I love that they are posting it. We went though the drive thru the other day to get an ice tea and saw all the calorie counts, I was shocked at how high it was and so were my kids. We rarely eat there but now it may be never

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
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The government had to force them to do it because they weren't going to do it otherwise. I have no problem with that. In California this information has been legally required to be "publicly posted" for many years but it's usually tucked behind the bathroom door or next to the soda machine where you can't stop to look at it because you're blocking everyone, and that's really no better than not posting it at all. I think having it up on the menu board is a great idea and it's good information for the consumer to have. Obviously something with grilled chicken is logically a better choice than something with two full-sized patties, bacon, cheese, and mayo, but the difference between other things might not be so clear cut; a small french fries are only 20 calories more than a fruit & walnut side dish and a small Coke is only 20 calories more than a chocolate milk. That information might help me make the decision to not pay extra for the fruit or to let my child have her only soft drink of the week instead of pushing another serving of milk.

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"wlillie" wrote:

But where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government should make companies inform people about their food's calorie content?

What? So now everything should be in the Constitution? Where in the Constitution does it say that you can't kill, steal, or run around naked?

As for the debate, yes, it is a good thing. The government regulates many parts of our food and drugs. For example, formula must have an expiration/use by date. Should we just trust the formula companies to let us know when it will go bad? Or the stores to not sell expired formula? And if they don't, oh well they don't have to.

As a consumer, this is important information to have. I remember when food products weren't required to be labeled with any information. You had to guess how many calories were in something and how big a serving size was. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want this information readily available to them. Every online and in-person diet program I am familiar with tracks food including fiber, protein, fat, and calorie content.

Like someone else said, this has been the requirement in CA for many years. It's very useful when I am selecting something at Panera or Panda Express. Honestly I had no idea how many calories are in orange chicken and how few are in some of the Subway sandwiches.

wlillie's picture
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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

What? So now everything should be in the Constitution? Where in the Constitution does it say that you can't kill, steal, or run around naked?

As for the debate, yes, it is a good thing. The government regulates many parts of our food and drugs. For example, formula must have an expiration/use by date. Should we just trust the formula companies to let us know when it will go bad? Or the stores to not sell expired formula? And if they don't, oh well they don't have to.

As a consumer, this is important information to have. I remember when food products weren't required to be labeled with any information. You had to guess how many calories were in something and how big a serving size was. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want this information readily available to them. Every online and in-person diet program I am familiar with tracks food including fiber, protein, fat, and calorie content.

Like someone else said, this has been the requirement in CA for many years. It's very useful when I am selecting something at Panera or Panda Express. Honestly I had no idea how many calories are in orange chicken and how few are in some of the Subway sandwiches.

To the bolded-No. It does say that the Federal government shouldn't be sticking it's nose into State matters and IMHO, we've gone WAY past what they meant when they wrote it and what is good for us.

If it's a requirement in CA and it's working, don't you think it makes since to go ahead and follow that little thing called the Constitution (which separates State and Federal rights) and go ahead and let them decide whether it should be the law for a business to post information that negatively affects their bottom line and positively affects the overall health of their citizens?

wlillie's picture
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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

What? So now everything should be in the Constitution? Where in the Constitution does it say that you can't kill, steal, or run around naked?

As for the debate, yes, it is a good thing. The government regulates many parts of our food and drugs. For example, formula must have an expiration/use by date. Should we just trust the formula companies to let us know when it will go bad? Or the stores to not sell expired formula? And if they don't, oh well they don't have to.

As a consumer, this is important information to have. I remember when food products weren't required to be labeled with any information. You had to guess how many calories were in something and how big a serving size was. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want this information readily available to them. Every online and in-person diet program I am familiar with tracks food including fiber, protein, fat, and calorie content.

Like someone else said, this has been the requirement in CA for many years. It's very useful when I am selecting something at Panera or Panda Express. Honestly I had no idea how many calories are in orange chicken and how few are in some of the Subway sandwiches.

To the bolded-No. It does say that the Federal government shouldn't be sticking it's nose into State matters and IMHO, we've gone WAY past what they meant when they wrote it and what is good for us.

If it's a requirement in CA and it's working, don't you think it makes since to go ahead and follow that little thing called the Constitution (which separates State and Federal rights) and go ahead and let them decide whether it should be the law for a business to post information that negatively affects their bottom line and positively affects the overall health of their citizens?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"wlillie" wrote:

To the bolded-No. It does say that the Federal government shouldn't be sticking it's nose into State matters and IMHO, we've gone WAY past what they meant when they wrote it and what is good for us.

If it's a requirement in CA and it's working, don't you think it makes since to go ahead and follow that little thing called the Constitution (which separates State and Federal rights) and go ahead and let them decide whether it should be the law for a business to post information that negatively affects their bottom line and positively affects the overall health of their citizens?

I would think it would fall under the commerce clause because other food and drugs are regulated by the federal government. There are heavy regulations on the food industry to keep people from getting sick. Federal law places restrictions on purchasing sudafed, yet the constitution does not specifically establish their right to do so.

Do people really have a problem with the Federal Meat Inspection Act because that regulates the meat industry at the federal level? Or The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA) because it requires at the federal level Nabisco to inform consumers how many calories are in Oreos. It would seem their authority has already been established with requiring the nutritional infomation of food. This just extends it to restaurants as well.

I live in CA, so as a citizen, I'm entitled to know how many calories are in orange chicken, but someone in MS isn't privvy to the information unless their state decides they are? That doesn't seem logical to me.

Do you have a study suggesting it has had an effect on their bottom line? Many restaurants came out with a lot more healthier options on their menus. A billboard I pass daily advertises McDonald's Egg McMuffin as 300 calories. It's been decades since Oreos were labeled. Did people stop buying them? Don't know. But they also offer 100-calories packs of them. So they find ways to tap into new markets and marketing.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Do you have a study suggesting it has had an effect on their bottom line? Many restaurants came out with a lot more healthier options on their menus. A billboard I pass daily advertises McDonald's Egg McMuffin as 300 calories. It's been decades since Oreos were labeled. Did people stop buying them? Don't know. But they also offer 100-calories packs of them. So they find ways to tap into new markets and marketing.

I think it has got to effect the business. I thought long and hard over what I was going to order with the calories right there in large print. I talked to the cashier for a while too. He said a lot of people felt that way.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Just curious, why not? Doesn't a government agency (the FDA probably) regulate the nutrition info posted on packages of food in the grocery store?

I think it's great, and I don't see why it's a problem that the government is making them do it. The government isn't saying that people can't eat that food, they are just allowing people to be able to make informed choices. How is more information a bad thing?

Just doesn't sit well with me. Like I said, I think it is beneficial to us all and I know that these companies wouldn't do it without the government push but...well...I just don't like the force behind it.

As for the Constitution...side note...I read a short snippet today about how the Constitution was planned to be rewritten sometime after it was signed because pretty much everyone involved hated it...lol..doesn't speak much for it.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I think it has got to effect the business. I thought long and hard over what I was going to order with the calories right there in large print. I talked to the cashier for a while too. He said a lot of people felt that way.

Did you still eat there?

AlyssaEimers's picture
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Yes, But I ordered less than I had planned on.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Yes, But I ordered less than I had planned on.

Speaking for your health, that is probably a good thing. I happen to think that the consumer's ability to make informed decisions about their health is more important than them eating a ton so McDonald's retains a healthy bottom line. Smile Besides, I think in the end it won't really result in people not eating at McDonald's, but it may result in them coming up with/playing up their healthier choices. For example, the Wendy's near my work has a big sign that shows a bunch of different meal combos you can get for under 500 calories. I love that they do that, and it actually makes me want to eat at Wendy's more than their competitors because they have taken the work of figuring out what to eat for me. Creative stuff like that will probably be the future advertising of McDonald's and other restaurants like it.

The whole "It's not in the Constitution" thing blows me away to be honest. As ethanwinfield pointed out, pretty much none of our laws (federal or otherwise) are in the Constitution.

boilermaker's picture
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I think informed is always better.

Though I think this happened at the state level, or is it a new federal mandate? I haven't been to McD's (or any other fast food in I don't know how long....) but I don't think the calories are posted here in CO. They are available, but certainly not on the billboard/menu.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

The whole "It's not in the Constitution" thing blows me away to be honest. As ethanwinfield pointed out, pretty much none of our laws (federal or otherwise) are in the Constitution.

Thats not true. The constitution says any power not given to the federal government is up to the states to decide. That pretty much covers everything. The constitution doesn't cover specific laws just how those laws are created and enforced.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Thats not true. The constitution says any power not given to the federal government is up to the states to decide. That pretty much covers everything. The constitution doesn't cover specific laws just how those laws are created and enforced.

The bolded is exactly my point.

Joined: 08/17/04
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I was at McD's on Saturday and the calories were on the menu board. I found it made it "messy looking" to my brain so I sort of filtered it out anyway. I know I made a bad food decision and I"m okay with that. If I wanted healthy food I wouldn't be there.

wlillie's picture
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I'm in Mississippi and Louisiana and they both have it- if they do, it's got to be a federal mandate. Which is unconstitutional-not that this is the only thing we're doing that is wrong.

Jessica-Isn't it refreshing that despite the fact that none of htem liked the Constitution, that they all agreed on it and made it work without spending a whole bunch of taxpayer money arguing? And they did it for free. No need to spend millions on campaigns or water bottles for their staff....

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Yes, But I ordered less than I had planned on.

Did you see the movie Supersize Me? McDonald's did some revamping after that.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Thats not true. The constitution says any power not given to the federal government is up to the states to decide. That pretty much covers everything. The constitution doesn't cover specific laws just how those laws are created and enforced.

It doesn't cover interstate commerce. I posted some examples before. FDA is federal as it should be.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I'm in Mississippi and Louisiana and they both have it- if they do, it's got to be a federal mandate. Which is unconstitutional-not that this is the only thing we're doing that is wrong.

Jessica-Isn't it refreshing that despite the fact that none of htem liked the Constitution, that they all agreed on it and made it work without spending a whole bunch of taxpayer money arguing? And they did it for free. No need to spend millions on campaigns or water bottles for their staff....

I can't say much for taxpayer money it didn't delve into that but they did a lot of arguing and many delegates refused to sign at all. They didn't agree on it at all. They just agreed to sign and it and never actually went back to change it as originally planned.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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"wlillie" wrote:

I'm in Mississippi and Louisiana and they both have it- if they do, it's got to be a federal mandate. Which is unconstitutional-not that this is the only thing we're doing that is wrong.

Do you think all federal law is unconstitutional? If not, what would make the FDA different?

Spacers's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

I can't say much for taxpayer money it didn't delve into that but they did a lot of arguing and many delegates refused to sign at all. They didn't agree on it at all. They just agreed to sign and it and never actually went back to change it as originally planned.

Isn't that what the Bill of Rights, i.e. the first ten amendments, was all about? That's exactly why they included, in the Constitution, a mechanism for changing it. So that they *could* change it.

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The more info the better. Food packaging in stores in required to have calories on it, why shouldn't it at restaurants?

Maybe another Canadian can back me up, but doesn't McDonald print dietary information on packaging here? Or am I thinking of another fast food place (Wendys?)?

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"Spacers" wrote:

Isn't that what the Bill of Rights, i.e. the first ten amendments, was all about? That's exactly why they included, in the Constitution, a mechanism for changing it. So that they *could* change it.

Yeah I guess I just thought it was interesting that they never went back to change it despite hating what they put out there. I'm saying it may not always be worth putting a bunch of stock in what the forefathers put out because they hated it as well lol.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

Yeah I guess I just thought it was interesting that they never went back to change it despite hating what they put out there. I'm saying it may not always be worth putting a bunch of stock in what the forefathers put out because they hated it as well lol.

What do you think amendments are?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

What do you think amendments are?

I know what amendments are...they did not come from the original set of delegates that wrote up/compromised/signed the first document.

I just thought it was interesting tidbit. That relying on what our "forefathers" wanted is often not a true statement...because what they wanted isn't necessarily reflected in the original document.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

I know what amendments are...they did not come from the original set of delegates that wrote up/compromised/signed the first document.

I just thought it was interesting tidbit. That relying on what our "forefathers" wanted is often not a true statement...because what they wanted isn't necessarily reflected in the original document.

The first Congress was seated in 3/1789, George Washington was inaugurated 4/1789 these amendments were proposed 12/1789. I think that would count as being proposed by our "forefathers". The constitution wasn't even ratified by all the states until 1/1791, and then these amendments were ratified less than a year later. It might not have been the exact same delegates, but I would guess the list is pretty close.

Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of amendments to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

wlillie's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Do you think all federal law is unconstitutional? If not, what would make the FDA different?

No, not all. But about 95% of the programs we have in place at the federal level are.

I agree with Ron Paul:
"the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

The first Congress was seated in 3/1789, George Washington was inaugurated 4/1789 these amendments were proposed 12/1789. I think that would count as being proposed by our "forefathers". The constitution wasn't even ratified by all the states until 1/1791, and then these amendments were ratified less than a year later. It might not have been the exact same delegates, but I would guess the list is pretty close.

Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of amendments to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is quoted from the book I was reading:
"...but actually a lot of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention on 9/17/1787 hated it! Compromise had to be mad in order to get some members of the convention to sign; fifteen never did. They all agreed that "something is better than nothing" so they passed the Constitution with the proposal that new delegates could meet in a few years and draft a superior document. No new document was created and the Constitution as written remained. Alexander Hamilton was so unhappy with the document that in 1802 he called the Constitution "a frail and worthless fabric"

Book: Stupid History
Author: Leland Gregory
Copyright: 2007
Pg. 142

Alissa_Sal's picture
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"wlillie" wrote:

No, not all. But about 95% of the programs we have in place at the federal level are.

I agree with Ron Paul:
"the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else

So do you feel that food manufacturers should not have to print the nutritional info on the packaging of food sold in grocery stores (depending on the states' laws)?

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

This is quoted from the book I was reading:
"...but actually a lot of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention on 9/17/1787 hated it! Compromise had to be mad in order to get some members of the convention to sign; fifteen never did. They all agreed that "something is better than nothing" so they passed the Constitution with the proposal that new delegates could meet in a few years and draft a superior document. No new document was created and the Constitution as written remained. Alexander Hamilton was so unhappy with the document that in 1802 he called the Constitution "a frail and worthless fabric"

Book: Stupid History
Author: Leland Gregory
Copyright: 2007
Pg. 142

Sounds like a little bit of interpretation going on there. Some of those 15 didn't sign because they didn't have authority to do so. Only 3 dissented, and most of the things I read said that those that were unhappy with it didn't like it because there was not bill of rights, which is why those were added so quickly. I think it is amazing that they were able to compromise and come up with the document that they did, since it was revolutionary for its time.

Spacers's picture
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"Jessica80" wrote:

This is quoted from the book I was reading:
"...but actually a lot of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention on 9/17/1787 hated it! Compromise had to be mad in order to get some members of the convention to sign; fifteen never did. They all agreed that "something is better than nothing" so they passed the Constitution with the proposal that new delegates could meet in a few years and draft a superior document. No new document was created and the Constitution as written remained. Alexander Hamilton was so unhappy with the document that in 1802 he called the Constitution "a frail and worthless fabric"

Book: Stupid History
Author: Leland Gregory
Copyright: 2007
Pg. 142

Emphasis mine. Blum 3

I agree to the "something is better than nothing," part because they wanted to move forward with all of the other details of forming a new government from scratch. But that doesn't mean there was ever any intention of scrapping the whole Constitution. They could have easily put in an expiration date, say after the second Presidential election, when things had had a chance to settle down. They chose not to. They chose to put in a mechanism for amending the original document, one that didn't just involve the Founding Fathers but that involved the entire voting populace. (Can't really say "everyone" since women & minorites were excluded.)

And it's been a long time since I took US history, but I do believe that Alexander Hamilton was not only the only New York representative to sign the Constitution, but he also wrote most of the essays supporting it that later became known as The Federalist Papers.

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ha ha it was called Stupid History because it debunks a lot of things...political, everyday sayings, common myths etc. not because it is stupid so to speak.

wlillie's picture
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Yes Alissa, I don't think they should have to. I think as our country starts to take responsibility for their own health (not going to be easy since our government seems to think it can do a better job and SO many people agree despite overwhelming evidence they aren't very good at it), the companies would have been pressured to put that information on their labels by those that wanted to know. Just like how Chick Fil A offers all kinds of fruit and vegetable (OMG-their carrot salad) and soup options because people wanted something besides waffle fries. I think you can even get oranges at Wendy's for the kids meals.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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It's hard to take responsibility for your own health if you don't know what's in anything or basic nutritional info. This just seems like a good compromise to me. It's not the government stepping in and saying "You aren't allowed to sell anything over X amount of calories or fat" (kind of like the large Coke thing) they are saying "Sell whatever you want and is profitable to your company, but you have to make it so the consumers can make informed decisions about what they buy." I just don't see how giving consumers more info to make a decision is a bad thing, or detracts from personal responsibility. Before you could easily find out the calorie content of your meal, you could claim "I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was THAT bad..." Now that they have to tell you, you can't blame anyone but yourself. That's totally personal responsibility!

wlillie's picture
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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

It's hard to take responsibility for your own health if you don't know what's in anything or basic nutritional info. This just seems like a good compromise to me. It's not the government stepping in and saying "You aren't allowed to sell anything over X amount of calories or fat" (kind of like the large Coke thing) they are saying "Sell whatever you want and is profitable to your company, but you have to make it so the consumers can make informed decisions about what they buy." I just don't see how giving consumers more info to make a decision is a bad thing, or detracts from personal responsibility. Before you could easily find out the calorie content of your meal, you could claim "I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was THAT bad..." Now that they have to tell you, you can't blame anyone but yourself. That's totally personal responsibility!

I don't think giving consumers more info to make a decision is a bad thing either, I just don't think it's the Federal government's responsibility Or right to require it. I don't know of any chain that doesn't have the nutritional info posted on their website (I haven't looked recently, but in 2008, most of them did). If you are concerned about your health, you shouldn't be eating fast food to begin with, eating a "healthier" option still isn't good for you if you don't even know what's in it. I know darn well when I eat anything that doesn't come from the grocery store's outside perimeter (and frozen vegetable section) that it's not good for me and everyone else should too. If you are really wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to be more proactive than waiting until you're in line to decide what you are going to eat for lunch or supper.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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There has to be a balance of federal guidelines and a business right to be left alone. History has shown us that left alone with no regulations at all that horrible things can happen. I remember reading a book (Don't remember the name) in school about how companies used to be. Mice and other very gross things in the food. Non sanitary conditions at all. At the same time, too many regulations kill businesses. Too many regulations make it so that a company can not survive and doesn't have a choice but to go to a cheaper place to work like China.

I personally enjoy having the calories listed for me. I do think it will hurt the businesses bottom line though.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I don't think giving consumers more info to make a decision is a bad thing either, I just don't think it's the Federal government's responsibility Or right to require it. I don't know of any chain that doesn't have the nutritional info posted on their website (I haven't looked recently, but in 2008, most of them did). If you are concerned about your health, you shouldn't be eating fast food to begin with, eating a "healthier" option still isn't good for you if you don't even know what's in it. I know darn well when I eat anything that doesn't come from the grocery store's outside perimeter (and frozen vegetable section) that it's not good for me and everyone else should too. If you are really wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to be more proactive than waiting until you're in line to decide what you are going to eat for lunch or supper.

Are you saying it's just a coincidence that 2008 is the same year CA's law went into effect that made restaurants with more than 20 locations provide easy access to this information in the form of brochures and such?

When it comes to FDA and expiration dates and safety that it should be left up to the STATE? So if TX doesn't require any drug trials before marketing prescription drugs, then that's on them? How about the Federal "War on Drugs"? (Admittedly it doesn't work the way intended.) What in the constitution allows them to pass federal laws regarding cocaine, Ritalin, or Sudafed?

Should I just have to trust Nestle that they will put infant health above profits? Or my local dairy to put expiration dates on milk? Or my grocery store to pull the expired milk off the shelf? Or Ford to put safety ahead of profits? Because we all know how well that one worked out. Spoiled food can make people sick, or worse, kill people. We've witnessed big corporations putting profits ahead of people for decades. It takes legislation and lawsuits to get companies to change their practices.

There are some things that take government involvement for citizens to get. If McDonald's thinks their profits are going to suffer because they tell people there are 800 calories in a Big Mac, why would they volunteer this information?

The thing with the nutritional information being provided is that there ARE healthy choices when you go out. Subway offers so many options with fewer than 300 calories. My 3" egg and cheese on flatbread comes in at under 200 calories! Applebees offers a WW section of their menu.

Not everything in the outside perimeter of the grocery store is good for you. That's where they keep the bacon, the butter, and Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls. Not everything else is bad. That's where they keep the water, nuts, rice cakes, and fiber supplements. Salads are in the produce section, yet adding certain dressings kills the healthy/calorie count. How do I know this? From reading the federally required information on the label. I can pick out a tasty dressing with about 10 calories per serving at my grocery store. When I go out to eat, I have choices of dressings, but without that nutritional information, I may not realize that fat-free at Red Lobster might not be the same as the fat free I use.

There are some burger places that butter their buns. If I based the content of the restaurant burger by what I make at home, I may be underestimating the content by 800 calories. Again, how do I know how many calories are in a 1/4 pound turkey burger, whole grain bun, mustard, and pickles? The label. But the burger at Islands might be 1/3 pound turkey burger on a buttered bun twice the size. I bake my fries so I have no idea how many calories are in fries fried in oil. Not to mention at home I know what a serving size is; at a restaurant I can't tell how many servings they have piled on.

There is an Ore-Ida potatoes commercial out now where kids are asking adults in the frozen food section how many calories they think are in a serving. It's around 140. However, a serving is 14 fries. Without that label, I wouldn't know that.

Unless a company is doing business solely in one state, their products cross state lines. Kellogg's is based in MI, yet I can buy Cornflakes in CA. How is this not a federal issue since it crosses state lines?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Yeah, at the end of the day I just really don't trust that companies are going to put the good of the consumer ahead of profits and offer up the info on their own. I know you are arguing for a sort of "free market" solution where consumers buy more products that are labeled and the problem fixes itself, but I think we had that system previously and it didn't really seem to work. Up until recently there weren't requirements about nutrition info so company's didn't offer them (at least, not in the stores where they were readily available), and consumers didn't really expect them. Plus, I think this is still a free market solution - again, the goverment isn't regulating what the companies can sell or what consumers can buy; they are putting the same requirements on all businesses (that have over 20 locations) which puts all of the chains on equal footing. From here, it will probably be up to the chains to compete to see who can come up with the best tasting stuff with "healthier" stats because that is what consumers are going to be buying. It's still a free market where consumers are the ultimate decision makers, but now they have slightly more info about how they make their decisions.

I think Bonita makes an excellent point about what happened in the past when we didn't have regulations about businesses.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

There is a HUGE difference between food safety and requiring a calorie content for a Big Mac. The government has gone way overboard with regulations.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

There is a HUGE difference between food safety and requiring a calorie content for a Big Mac. The government has gone way overboard with regulations.

Why is it that businesses have the right to deceive the consumer when it comes to what they are selling, yet consumers don't have the right to know? Many companies kept things a secret from the public long after they knew about it. Even in the interest of undisputed safety, they still didn't let the public now. Ford Pinto anyone? It took lawsuits and government intervention to get them to change.

I just can't figure out how this is a bad thing. Consumers want the information, companies don't/won't provide it on their own, so watchdog groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest lobby for laws to get passed.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6559

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

There is a HUGE difference between food safety and requiring a calorie content for a Big Mac. The government has gone way overboard with regulations.

I would argue it is a safety issue. I am more likely to die from eating at McDonalds 3 times a day than from many other safety issues.

I do think there are many things that are over regulated. I just think this could do a lot of good.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Yes, I agree. I think allowing consumers to make informed decisions *is* a food safety issue.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4097

"wlillie" wrote:

I know darn well when I eat anything that doesn't come from the grocery store's outside perimeter (and frozen vegetable section) that it's not good for me and everyone else should too.

Interesting way to decide what's healthy or not. Hmmm, at my local market I would be eating mostly bakery cakes, deli meats & prepared foods, laundry soap, toilet paper, drugs from the pharmacy (yummmm!) and candy & sodas.

And again, knowing what is healthy at the grocery store is much different than knowing what is healthy at a fast food place. Take your carrot salad example. I make a salad at home with shredded carrots & zucchini, fresh basil, lemon juice, and a splash of olive oil. The carrot salad at the grocery store deli has shredded carrots, raisins, walnuts, and a mayo-based dressing, i.e. not a particularly healthy choice. But I have no idea which kind of "carrot salad" I'll be getting when I walk into a new place. The calorie counts can help me make a better decision.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I've been in a lot of grocery stores and most of them are meat vegetables and dairy around the perimeter. There is nothing healthy at a fast food place. Deciding whether it's healthier than another option is on you and if you think the Constitution allowed for the Federal government to make these kinds of decisions, then good for you. I disagree very very very strongly.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I gotta say, I feel that not only does the govt have a right to intervene, they have an obligation to. To me this is like the warnings on cigarette packs - the amount of nicotine, tar, CO etc. in a smoke and what health problems smoking contributes to. Everyone's okay with that, presumably, but when it comes to fat-laden, high carb, high sugar, zero nutritional value foods everyone thinks the govt has stepped over their boundaries to force fast food restaurants to list their menu item caloric content. That I just don't get.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I gotta say, I feel that not only does the govt have a right to intervene, they have an obligation to. To me this is like the warnings on cigarette packs - the amount of nicotine, tar, CO etc. in a smoke and what health problems smoking contributes to. Everyone's okay with that, presumably, but when it comes to fat-laden, high carb, high sugar, zero nutritional value foods everyone thinks the govt has stepped over their boundaries to force fast food restaurants to list their menu item caloric content. That I just don't get.

I'm not though. It's not the Federal Government's job to tell companies what and how to put information on their packages or how to run their businesses. We aren't socialists.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"wlillie" wrote:

I'm not though. It's not the Federal Government's job to tell companies what and how to put information on their packages or how to run their businesses. We aren't socialists.

And therein I think, to a great extent, explains the state of the US healthcare system. Maybe your federal government should make it there job. Our federal government doesn't tell the provinces how to run their healthcare and care plans, but they definitely take the initiative to mandate new federal regulations that are in the interest of all healthy Canadians. We aren't a socialist or communist country either, we just actually realize that the health of our citizens is something on which we all benefit - expecially as taxpayers.

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