4

Blissful Fast Food Ignorance

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

We're not sure if we're ready to see how many calories or fat our fast food indulgences have. We know they're bad for us -- we're not dumb. But maybe it's not knowing how bad that keeps us making those late-night runs to Whataburger.

We may not be able to live in blissful ignorance much longer. The McDonald's in Texas Children's Hospital has recently added calorie, fat, and carbohydrate counts to its menu boards. Now when you order your super-cheap Big Mac, you won't be able to ignore the fact that you're consuming a 540-calorie burger. The hospital first suggested adding the nutritional facts to the menu boards back in 2006. Although McDonald's was not required to do this by law, it reached an agreement with the hospital to do so voluntarily. Thank goodness they have no plans to add nutritional information to the menu boards of their other stores.

We won't be so lucky at other fast food stores. By 2011, Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell and KFC, will have calorie information on its menu boards. And Burger King and Wendy's already have posters with nutritional information.

Why this new trend? It's all in the name of fighting the growing obesity problem in the United States. Michelle Obama recently launched a campaign to fight childhood obesity. California has already passed laws requiring nutritional information on menus and menu boards for restaurants with more than 20 locations. And New York City has required it for restaurants with 15 or more locations since 2008. Texas tried and failed in 2009 to pass similar legislation and will probably try again in 2011.

It's all for a good cause, but will it help fight the problem? The verdict is still out.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.