Isn't the point of this information to cause us to shy away from this-
Though sometimes I wish that these helpful reminders were left off the menus, I can't help to remember why these are there... to promote the exact reaction in the general public as they do in my case; however, this reaction isn't yet the typical one- especially in kids and teens.
I think the reason I am so affected by these calorie counts (not only because I can't eat most things that have a calorie count) is because I have the knowledge of the sugar, fat, and calories that are to be consumed during the average day. But for people who don't know better it seems like these are just numbers...
A recent article published in the International Journal of Obesity, available on Reuters, found that the calorie contents on foods don't affect kids and teens the way they are supposed to. The findings of this paper were based on the number of teens who reacted to calorie counts in New York City after it was mandated that fast food restaurants in NYC put the correct nutritional information of the foods they serve front and center on their menus.
Though it was found that the kids did notice the signs, it didn't help them in making the right choice, and they still chose the Big Mac and fries. Heres the problem- not only are 33% of American's obese (adults), but on average 15% of kids and teens are overweight and/or obese now too (in some states that number is at 30%)!
So we need to act fast... it's really important to teach your kids about these numbers. Teaching kids that the option with the lower sugar, fat, and calorie content is the one to choose is the best way to start. Don't overload them with information because they won't listen- but teaching kids about making smart choices given two options is the way to start.
Here's the good news. While many kids weren't influenced by the calorie contents when making their choices, 9% were influenced and made their decisions based on what they thought was the better choice. Teaching your kids why its important to make smart choices is the best means of preventing overweight and obesity because knowledge is power!
Making smart decisions all the time just isn't possible, even when you know it all, but try to make the better decisions when you can!
Remember, everyone deserves a treat every now and then too!