Coffee, Tea, or Calorie Count?

The USA apparently is well ahead of Britain when it comes to public recognition of the war on obesity. Many of our fast food establishments have been publishing the number of calories in their menu items for quite some time. Now a new survey reported by Sean Poulter states that 2/3 of adults want not only coffee shop chains to list calorie counts, but other fast-food giants and pizza chains as well. Since a voluntary call made by the government for calorie listings was not heeded very well, health campaigners and doctors are insisting the law must be changed to more strongly enforce compliance. New York evidence was cited that claims the rules in the US for chains has actually led to an improvement in eating habits. McDonalds average lunch calorie total is cited as one healthy response: it has decreased from 829 to 785. Over 800 calories on the average for a McDonalds lunch seems excessive, so a decrease of only 44 calories isn’t that great. The average doesn’t really tell that much. When it comes to coffee, we and others have reported previously on many articles detailing how flavored coffees and fancy coffee drinks pack a whopping load of calories. A search failed to find any headlines about consumer consciousness leading to better food choices as a result of calorie count postings, but one study of last January actually showed it made no difference. Yet Britain’s Health Secretary disagrees with the doctors in that he believes that voluntary compliance measures on the chains’ part and a nudging of consumers will be enough to deal with the problems of obesity in Britain. There might be more to changing people’s food habits than just posting calorie counts. Pushing alternatives has to be a stronger game changer than just posting problems with current choices. One that hasn’t caught on yet is substituting a natural sweetener such as stevia for the sugar content in coffee drinks. Price has been a factor here, but food chemists have been working on making stevia products more accessible. In the mean time, it can easily be used at home. Speaking of deliciously flavored coffee with fewer calories than the coffee shop offering, have you tried In Bru natural flavorings yet? Here are just a few of their great natural flavors below.

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