A yo-yo dieter, Julie Satterwhie, 46 who lives in America, struggled to lose weight before writing a food diary to help her shed 30 pounds. “I would think twice about picking up a cookie when walking through the kitchen, because I knew I had to write it down” Satterwhie said.
Coffee chain, Starbucks, has become the latest fast food chain to provide nutritional information to customers. In their UK shops, they have started to test putting calories on their boards.
To give more information to customers when eating outside of their homes, Starbucks has teamed up with the food industry and Department of Health. Depending on what the customer’s choice of drink is, the new information could reassure and alarm them at the same time. A venti (large) white hot chocolate mocha with whole milk, topped with whipped cream contains a whopping 619 calories. On the other hand, a tall (medium) black filter coffee is only 4 calories.
Starbucks offers similar information in most of its stores across some states in America, where it is a legal requirement to display calories on menus. Following the introduction of calorie menus, Starbucks customers chose to reduce their calorie intake by 6% by choosing lighter options, a study by Stanford University found.
Other Fast Food Chains
Other fast food chains such as Burger King and Subway signed up to the calorie display scheme run by the Food Standards Agency two years ago, but most dropped out of the project. However, with the support from customers, restaurant insurance providers and the new link up with the Department of Health, a greater number of fast food chains have agreed to display calories on menus or on boards. From September, McDonald’s will display calories above their counters.
Harvester, part of the food and restaurants chain, Mitchell & Butlers, has already adopted the idea in all of its 176 restaurants across the UK.
The coordinator for overweight and obesity applications at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Karen Donato, states that “People do mindless eating, at their desks, under stress or out of boredom. Knowing your calorie intake can help avoid that”.
Starbucks has put calorie boards up in 20 of its 717 shops in the UK and depending on if the trail goes well, intends to roll it out to all of their shops.
Will calorie display boards put you off your indulgences? Let us know your thoughts!