I’m suspicious, in general, of nutrition information provided by restaurants. The lowfat ice cream cone at McDonald’s is supposedly 150 calories, but I’ve had them hand me a cone that was piled so high with swirls that it was about to tip over, the dairy equivalent of a game of Jenga. I know full well that’s probably at least double the alleged 150 calories.
This kind of thing is the reason I only get one scoop of tuna on my Subway tuna sandwich; I don’t want to wildly overestimate how many calories I’m ingesting because nutrition information is so imprecise. Point is, I’m paranoid anyway. So when I read about the huge inaccuracies in nutrition info provided by restaurants, I wasn’t completely surprised. Still, the “Skinny Chicken” at Macaroni Grill having 500 extra calories? That doesn’t seem excusable to me. Weetabix says:
There’s nothing wrong, of course, with eating yummy restaurant food or consuming 1,000 calorie meals. I feel no shock and dismay to learn that Cheesecake Factory’s bread and butter is loaded with fat and calories, because the Cheesecake Factory never pretended that it was the healthy choice. We’re adults and we make our own decisions… but seriously, it boils down to informed consent. If you sell us on the fact that your chicken is a saintly choice, then it’s not unreasonable to feel betrayed when you realize that you were just had.
Here is a PDF with the data. And coincidentally, Gael just posted about the 20 saltiest foods in America, and Macaroni Grill is the worst offender on that list, too, with three items on the list, including the saltiest dish in America (Chicken Portobello, 7,300 mg sodium, 1,020 calories, 66 g fat).
For someone who eats out only occasionally, or who varies her diet a lot, or who doesn’t think about nutrition information as a matter of course, this might not be as big of a deal. But if you have your favorite meal on a regular basis, and it turns out to be twice as calorific or fattening or salty as you expected, wouldn’t you have a right to be pissed off? Where do you fall on that spectrum? Do you care about this issue at all, and what are the implications from a size-positive standpoint? Do you think it’s wrong to care about calorie content at all? What do you think?
Posted by mo pie