Six years after New York City's attempt to curb the obesity epidemic by mandating calorie counts in chain restaurants, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that the tactic has done little to reduce the calories that wind up on consumers' trays, and presumably, in their bellies.
To come to this finding, the research team collected itemized receipts and interviewed 7,699 diners at McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, and Wendy's locations throughout New York City and New Jersey. After analyzing the data they found that the average number of calories bought by fast food patrons at menu-labeled restaurants during their study was about the same as those in a similar survey right after NYC initially imposed menu labeling, which, on average, was about 802 calories—or about a half a day’s worth of food. Yikes!
The lesson here is clear: Wake up! Stop tuning out the calorie counts and start making healthier choices. Though that may seem pointless when you’re ordering your meal out of a clown’s mouth at the drive thru, it’s not. Not convinced? Consider this: Opting for a 300-calorie burger over the 600-calorie version every time you hit a fast food joint could keep about 5 pounds of flab off of your frame—and that’s just if you made the swap twice a week for a year. See, it is possible to ‘Have it Your Way’ and lose weight! You just have to be committed to the cause.
Not sure what to get instead of your not-so-slimming go-to? Check out The Healthiest Dish to Order at 20 Fast Food Chains!