Are Food Choices A Reflection of Intelligence?

Does someone who orders fast food know the difference between say 600 calories and 1600?

Meaning … are they smart enough to understand the ramifications of what they’re about to order? I mean let’s be honest, do “smart,” conscientious people even order fast food? OK. OK. Hold up before you stop reading or bash me thinking this is going to turn into a fat-shaming post, let me assure you, it is not. If anything, it is the farthest thing from that …

Recently, I watched a recorded NBC News segment pondering the entire concept of calorie counting—specifically, if calorie counts printed on menus actually influence consumers orders. Intrigued, I asked a few people if indeed those fateful numbers really mattered, and as it turns out, they do and they don’t. Because some people use those numbers to “control” their consumption choices … because some people literally (and figuratively) calorie count … and because some people live and die by the end-of-the-day total calorie count.

Just over two years ago (May  7, 2018), restaurants had to officially  comply with the FDA’s rule—Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments. It’s important to note, however, that only restaurants and “similar retail food establishments” belonging to a chain with 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering for sale substantially the same menu items are covered by the menu labeling final rule. 

The requirements are inplace to make the “food selection process” transparent and hopefully, help consumers make better choices. And more knowledge when it comes to food choices is vital to our overall health and well being—be it nutritional information or product origin.

Personally, I don’t care if calories are included on menus or not. But only because I know the numbers at first glance … yea, peeps, I was a competitive athlete (which you’d know if you read my story) and as much as it pains me to admit, I still deal with food issues and body issues on the daily. It’s inherent. I guess. Regardless, because I know the numbers already, I don’t pay attention. BUT. To be clear, I would never be in a line to order a Big Mac in the first place. Yes. I’m “that” girl. Not to say there aren’t other indulgences, if you will, that I partake in but for many, many reasons, fast food isn’t one of them.

Anyway, back to my original inquiry … does someone who orders fast food know the difference between say 600 calories and 1600?? Honestly, I think most people who line up to order the double-stacked, special-sauce laden sandwich fall into one of three categories, neither of which is healthy:

  1. They truly don’t know how bad it is for their health,
  2. Or, sadly, more likely than not … they’re being lazy and decided this was the best choice,
  3. Or, they just don’t give a shit.

Me, I don’t fall into either category because I’d go hungry before I would order fast food, but maybe that’s not super healthy either. Regardless, making good food choices can be a challenge, I’ll give you that. But it’s easier done than not:

  1. Educate yourself, read the labels and know what it means,
  2. And, plan ahead and don’t fall into the “lazy” group because fast food is your only option,
  3. And, give a shit for your health, and for the betterment of the planet too : )

Thoughts?? Do you eat fast food? Have you ever?

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On Being a Flexitarian

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