Mickey D’s Monday

Has anyone been to McDonald’s today?

The company recently announced that this week they will begin listing nutritional information in stores and at drive-through windows across the United States.

“At McDonald’s, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order,” said Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA.

I wonder if that’s really true? Do McDonald’s customers want to know that they Big Mac meal deal they super-sized for $1 extra has 800,000 calories and 275 grams of fat? I think we all pretty much know by now that McDonald’s doesn’t specialize in healthy food? I know, I know, they’ve got salad and yogurt parfait now, but for the most part, it’s about burgers, french fries, and the occasional Shamrock Shake (not that I know anything about those green frosty cups of yumminess).

So I wonder, will including the calorie counts of Big Macs and french fries and those fancy new coffee drinks on the menu board really influence the choices of McDonalds’ more than 25 million daily customers? Or will folks just put on calorie blinders and order what they crave? Imagine the visual equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and singing “La la laaaaa, I can’t heeeaarrr yoooooo.”

Personally, I really appreciate when restaurants include nutrition information for their food. While I don’t go to McDonald’s often ever, I do like to know of a few restaurants where I can grab a quick bite when I’m in a hurry; places with options that won’t put me in calorie debt for three days. Starbucks, Which Which, and Rubio’s all have a few fairly decent choices when it comes to fast food. But the truth is, I’m not usually going to those places for an indulgent, special meal; I’m simply short on fuel and didn’t bring a snack from home to tide me over. I might be less grateful to see that my favorite pasta dish at the local Italian place (it’s got little “pasta purses” filled with cheese, covered with a pear butter garlic sauce), has 1,000 calories per serving. When I have that meal, it’s a treat. I know it’s not great for me, but I don’t really care, because I might have it three times in a year. And really, once you know how bad something is for you–once it’s in black and white right before your eyes–it’s really hard to enjoy it anymore. At least it is for me.

For example, I used to work at P.F. Chang’s. I was a waitress. It was a great job. Fun people, good money, and free or discounted food. My favorite was the Dan Dan Noodles. Ever had it? So awesome. At least it was until I saw it had something like 1,100 calories per serving. YIKES! Never could eat it after that. I hope I didn’t just ruin it for you too? Although if you eat at P.F. Chang’s you probably already know they include the nutritional information on their menu. Did you notice?

So, what do you think? Will you pay attention to the calorie counts of your favorite fast food lunch? Will it affect your choices? Or will you simply avert your eyes? I’ll bet the majority of McDonald’s patrons don’t really need to look at the menu anyway.


6 thoughts on “Mickey D’s Monday

  1. liz says:

    In California the calorie counts are posted almost everywhere. I love it. We hardly ever go to fast food, but I hate to admit that Starbucks is a favorite. The nutritional info is a great reminder to think twice before I order.

    • wishfit says:

      Yes, that is a regional regulation. Some places in Colorado give the info on the menu or have hand-outs available, but not like they do in California. You can also usually find it online, at least at chain restaurants. I rarely do fast food either, but it’s nice to know where you can find a decent/healthy sandwich. Starbucks actually does a pretty good job with their deli food offerings (not the pastries, of course!), and you can easily find a low-cal drink if you look.

  2. Chrissy says:

    I think all restaurants should list the nutritional information, then there is no room for the complete ignorance excuse! Yet we also live in the age where people need to be told coffee is hot! Oi!

    • wishfit says:

      I agree, ignorance is NOT bliss as far as our food consumption is concerned. I’ve found that the more I know, the harder it is to go back to the way I used to eat. Finding out about how lunch meats and other animal products are grown, packaged and preserved has made me a much more savvy consumer (though I’ll never give up meat!), reading about the junk in processed foods makes me think twice before I’ll eat packaged snack foods, and I’m definitely on the lookout for ways to reduce added sugar consumption. However, I don’t go out to eat very often, so when I do, I’m looking to treat myself. In those cases, I admit I like to be a bit oblivious to the true calorie count. 🙂

  3. Kimberly says:

    I just noticed McDonalds new menu board the other day. I do use that information and ordered a small hamburger and skipped fries to save calories. I think restaurants that share that info are great! I have stopped getting some of my fave dishes after seeing calorie counts (read: spaghetti at Macaroni Grill is 1500 calories!) and had to greatly alter salads even. I eat out way more than I should but now I at least can minimize the damage:)

    • wishfit says:

      Wow! 1500 calories for spaghetti. And is it really that much better than what you could make at home? That’s crazy! I think salads can be a HUGE shock to people! Sometimes, the salad is the worst choice even though people think they are being healthier. Sounds like you are doing a great job being aware.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s