Miami Herald (Sunday)

Mandatory calorie counts on restaurant menus tell only part of the nutritiona­l story

- BY SHEAH RARBACK Special to the Miami Herald

turkey club with 880 calories but maybe instead he should just have the chocolate fudge cake for 890 calories. I was thinking about the Poke Salad with ahi tuna with 730 calories. But would it have been better to have a steak bowl for 520 calories?

The answer to these questions in a minute. The bigger question is does restaurant calorie labeling achieve a positive goal? A comprehens­ive literature review, published in 2014 in The Journal of Community Health, concluded that ”while there are some positive results in studies examining the effects of calorie labeling, overall a real world study showed that calorie labels do not have the desired effect in reducing total calories ordered at a population level.” Meaning it works for some people but most probably will not move the needle.

Calories are a small part of the story. Our bodies and souls need nourishmen­t. The fudge cake is not going to provide the protein, vitamins and minerals of the turkey club. If someone wants the fudge cake, try to convince the table to share a piece. I enjoy an ahi tuna poke, and 200 or more calories would not change my mind. Plus I am getting a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

How often someone eats out, how much they eat and what they doing with the rest of their time in terms of food and activity is what matters.

Sheah Rarback MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritioni­st in private practice in Miami,


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 ?? PHIL VELASQUEZ TNS ?? Many chain restaurant­s are required by law to list calorie counts on their menus.
PHIL VELASQUEZ TNS Many chain restaurant­s are required by law to list calorie counts on their menus.

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