Can’t hide behind menus anymore

By Shannon Keough
February 7, 2008

Burger King was always the place to go in grade school when we had a half day for the first Friday of the month. On weekends I would stay over my grandparents’ house and on Saturday mornings we would go to Burger King for breakfast sandwiches or French toast sticks.

I admit that it was a disgusting habit but it was so exciting to look forward to then and I didn’t know any of the harmful effects. If I did know it probably wouldn’t have changed my mind because I was too young to worry about health issues.

After reading about New York’s decision to enforce restaurant chains to add the calorie content of food on their menus, I still have mixed feelings.

I view eating at fast food places and eating at restaurants completely different, as I’m sure many people do. This new law, however, will pertain to any restaurant that has more than 15 restaurants in the U.S. from McDonald’s to the Olive Garden.

I think that the New York City Board of Health has good intentions for making this law because of the obesity epidemic and its effects but I’m not sure it will be successful.

I think many people who watch their weight are already aware that fast food is an unhealthy choice. People that aren’t interested in making healthy decisions probably won’t think twice about a 1,000 calorie difference.

Although I only eat at fast food restaurants on occasion, I realize that many people consume it almost everyday whether they want to or they need to because it’s cheap. The only time I do eat it is when I’m in a hurry or it’s my last resort. I don’t look forward to eating it anymore.

Fast food restaurants are quick and cheap, which many people see as a luxury in their busy lives. Cooking food at home is more expensive and time-consuming. To many people it’s not a matter of what they are eating, it just matters that they are eating.

When I go out to a real restaurant though, it’s like a treat. I love going out and not caring about what I eat because I know I’ll eat better the next day. If every time I sat down in a restaurant and I had calories staring me in the face, I’d feel really bad about myself. I would probably end up ordering something that will make me feel better at the moment but not half as satisfying.

Eating healthy isn’t the only solution to obesity though. Exercising is also a huge part of weight loss and being healthy. I doubt that they will give free gym memberships to everyone in New York though.

I say it’s worth a shot to try this as a solution because there is a huge problem. I just wish that they would only experiment in the fast food industry. New York will be the guinea pig for this healthy trend and I think other states should wait to see the results of the law before they adopt one of their own.

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Shannon Keough

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