The obligatory calorie count rant.

New York state forcing all chain restaurants to post calorie counts? Sucks. I can say this with personal authority because the policy has thus far ruined my enjoyment of Baskin Robbins, Chevy’s, and Ruby Tuesday’s. I’m sorry, but anyone who goes to a restaurant in general is probably not going there to eat healthy… unless you’re going to some frou-frou health joint and drinking wheat germ. When I go out, it’s with the expectation that I’m going to be a little bad, and I really don’t want to know how bad. Seeing these calorie counts that rank well past 1100 and into the teens for chicken dishes, for burgers… it just made the idea of eating dishes I normally would have enjoyed er, unpalatable.

I now look to the lowest count when I hit the Baskin Robbins ice cream counter. I had a Corona Light at Chevy’s while waiting to get into Dark Knight at the AMC Empire, because the thought of drinking a 500 calorie margarita made me cringe. At Ruby Tuesday’s, I narrowed my choices down to dishes that were all in the 500-600 calorie range, my jaw dropping at some of the numbers for their much-touted burgers. And it’s not that I’m stupid — I know full well how bad some of these dishes must be, but for the purposes of going out and enjoying a meal outside my house and my bevy of Lean Cuisine dishes and three days’ worth of homemade biriyani, I really just want to exist in a pleasant state of denial.

If a handful of people are dumb enough to think McDonald’s is good for you, how is that the problem of the rest of the residents of this state? The rising obesity rate is not the restaurant’s fault; it’s the fault of people who don’t control how often they eat out and what they eat when they’re out.

I never considered myself some kind of crazy hedonist, someone fond of excess and into flouting the rules. But when it comes to food? Just back the hell off. There’s too many countries where people don’t even have the option of chowing down on a Smokehouse Burger. Worrying that, oh noes!, some privileged Westerner is going to add a few inches to their waistline unless someone tells them how many calories there are in the damn thing is stupid and condescending.

I’m SO sick of this generation of Americans refusing to take basic responsibility for themselves and then our government stepping in to fill those gaps. Everything has to be regulated because god forbid someone make their own, mature decision. We’re going to tell you how bad or good your food is for you, we’re going to tell you which TV shows are appropriate for what ages, what books you shouldn’t read, what medication you shouldn’t take, and everybody’s going to be hypersensitive and politically correct because god forbid we hurt someone’s feelings. It’s ridiculous that citizens are being reduced to children — and willingly so. Yes, please, put parameters and constraints on my stomach, my uterus, my brain…

Pretty soon people won’t have to think at all. And is that the future we’re headed for? Orwellian? Where we’re a bunch of automatons, brainwashed, sanitizing our history and sleepwalking through our present and future?

Is a  big ol’ margarita, a double scoop of rocky road, and a cheese-laden chicken dish really that detrimental to society? Come on.

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3 thoughts on “The obligatory calorie count rant.

  1. We don’t live in a police state, we live in a nanny state, and it effing sucks. The lack of personal accountability is appalling, and the willingness to cede so much decision-making to the government is eventually going to lead up to a point where they simply *take* all the decision-making to us, and there won’t be anything we can do about it.

    Incidentally, the honey pecan salmon I ate at Friday’s last night was delicious. I don’t know the calorie count, and I don’t care.

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  2. I think it’s really odd how accountability has just fallen by the wayside, and I feel like the government is already taking the decision making away. I mean, geez, if parents don’t want to parent, let’s just regulate what their kids watch, what their kids eat, and whether or not their kids can have birth control.

    And then corporations are following suit! They’re profiting from the nanny syndrome!

    Apparently, Americans are fragile, special snowflakes, who need to be treated with kid gloves. Can’t control your portions? We’ll make 100 calorie packs of EVERYTHING so you don’t have to think about it!

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  3. “I’m SO sick of this generation of Americans refusing to take basic responsibility for themselves and then our government stepping in to fill those gaps.”

    This is interesting, because I see this as the opposite. I see this as the government arming people to make informed choices. Not that a calorie count is super-useful, but if it’s full nutritional information it certainly is. Not to mention it means that people with medical conditions requiring careful meal planning (ie Diabetics) will be in a better position to select restaurants of their choice, rather than being limited to the ones that choose to provide nutritional information.

    That said, if it’s JUST a calorie-count… well, I still don’t see that as hand-holding (giving someone information isn’t the same as telling them what to do or not do), but I do see it as catering to the beauty industry’s skewed concept of “health” and “nutrition” rather than anything particularly scientific or medical.

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