Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Mandatory Calorie Count

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As a resident of Albany, NY, I thought that the new law regarding the mandatory post of calories in fast food restaurants demonstrated a strong example of communication in society. Counties throughout New York state, and now Washington D.C., are addressing the prominence of obesity in society today by visibly posting calories next to each menu item. According to this article, the new law “will require more than 200,000 chain restaurants to put calories on menus, menu boards, and drive-throughs.” The law will apply to any restaurant with at least twenty locations.

In addition to attempting to curb obesity, I thought that the new law could potentially have negative effects for the particular fast food company’s profit. However, according to this article, the law “did not cause any statistically significant change in Starbucks revenue.” Because the laws in Albany and now Schenectady are quite new, I think it will be difficult to gauge the success or failure of helping to solve obesity at this time. I imagine that the calorie counts of certain foods, such as a McDonald’s Big Mac (540 calories) or a chicken bacon ranch foot long sub at Subway (780 calories), might surprise customers and in turn discourage them from purchasing that particular product.

Do you think that this new law would serve as deterrence for those who are already obese? I think that obese people who continue to purchase meals from fast food restaurants have clearly not made an effort to lose weight, and therefore will not care as much for the calorie intake. Of course there are some healthier food options at certain fast food restaurants, such as the Snack Wrap option at McDonald’s (only 260 calories). Personally, I think that implementing the calorie count will deter me from eating higher calorie foods at fast food restaurants.

Subway Menu Calories


Written by Meghan Carroll

May 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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