Ontario's doctors call for calorie counts on menus

April 8, 2009 in Nutrition Labeling, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Ontario's doctors call for calorie counts on menus

In a move to fight obesity, Ontario's doctors are calling for calorie counts to be shown on chain restaurant and school cafeteria menus and menu boards throughout the province.

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) says that by revealing the caloric content of fast foods, consumers will be better equipped with the information they need to make healthier choices.

"People lead busy lives and it's not always convenient to prepare food at home," said President of the OMA. "Ontario's doctors are not telling people what they can and can't eat, but when you do eat out, you should know how many calories you are consuming."

Specifically, the Ontario doctors want to see legislation that would require calorie contents to be listed beside the items on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants and school cafeterias across the province.

The focus is on posting calories because of the common misconceptions surrounding the caloric content of many chain restaurant meals.

Most people consume more food than they are aware of - and they do not keep track of caloric intake.

Women are recommended to consume between 1, 600 and 1,800 calories per day while men are advised a daily caloric intake between 2,000 and 2,400.

One McDonald's Golden Bran & Raisin muffin sets you back 390 calories. Another example of a seemingly healthy choice that really isn't - Tim Horton's Whole Grain Raspberry muffin (400 calories).

The health consequences of overweight and obesity are estimated to cost Ontario $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.


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