For years, a friend of mine jumped in his car pretty much every evening, drove down the hill to a certain drive-thru fast-food chain and got himself a large frozen dairy treat. He wanted nothing more than to end each night with his feet up, watching TV and digging into his daily dessert.
I remember the night I was over there and there was no dessert. When I asked about it, I got an earful. “Do you KNOW how many calories are in a large??!” he exclaimed. Dejected, he sat on the couch, feet up and arms crossed in a huff. No dessert.
It can sometimes be a shock to find out the nutrition content of the foods we eat. My friend would have made different choices if he knew more about the food he was buying. Luckily in B.C. we have a couple of programs that help consumers make informed choices.
Informed Dining is a B.C. program that helps us make informed choices when eating out. Participating restaurants have nutrition information for all standard menu items available to consumers before they order so that they can use it to help make their menu decisions. The information is presented on a nutrition menu, brochure, pamphlet or poster. Calories and sodium are highlighted and information about the average amount of calories and sodium a person needs is included for reference. This makes it easy to compare menu items and see how they stack up to your daily recommendations.
Another program is Health Check™, offered by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Participating restaurants have menu items that are assessed for nutrient criteria, such as fat, protein, fibre, sodium and some vitamins and minerals. If they meet the nutrition criteria, they’re given a check mark right on the menu. This lets the consumer know which options are healthier choices on the menu.
I’m glad to have nutrition information available at some of the restaurants I go to. Personally, I would love it if all the restaurants I went to had nutrition information available so that I could take a look at it if I wished. I like to have the choice.
As for my friend, don’t worry about him. After the initial shock wore off, he was happy to finally know the real deal about his frozen dairy delight. He does still have his special treat, but only occasionally when he really wants it, and he gets a medium size.