In New York City, most chain restaurants are required to post calorie information on their menus. And soon, because of ObamaCare, all restaurants with more than 20 locations will be required to post calorie counts. It's like how the F.D.A. requires labels on packaged food.
The idea's pretty basic: when you know how much you're eating, you tend to eat less. Now, section 81.50 of the New York City Health Codes states the health department will cite violations if you fail to post calorie information. But the health department doesn't verify the accuracy of that information. They told me no one checks to make sure these numbers are correct. So, I thought I'd assume that responsibility.
The actual process for testing calorie content is incredibly complicated and horribly boring. It involved two food scientists, who were totally patient and answered all of my stupid questions.
And it's pronounced calorimeter? Calorimeter. Calorimeter, okay, got it.
We needed the resources of the obesity research lab at St. Luke's Hospital. It involved precision beyond anything I'm capable of and a lot of math. It took us 10 hours to test 5 items.
How much do you stand...how much do you stand behind today's results? 100%.
Now, there's very little science put into the selection of food to be tested. I just tried to pick all the foods that I might eat in a single day, some from restaurants, some packaged.
These muffins are everywhere in the city, but the nutritional information is impossible to find. They're called the yogurt muffins.
And the guy at the bodega said, "They're low-fat, everything."
They're pretty healthy?
Yeah, these are the best.
The best. All right, thank you!
There's no nutritional information on their website so I called them, and they faxed me the data. According to them, the muffin had incredible 640 calories. And it was even more incredible to find out they're actually 734.7 in calories. That's more calories than two McDonald's Egg McMuffins.
Thoughts on the results from the nutty banana?
No, I suspected this was gonna be over.
Next stop—the Frappuccino. A grande with whipped cream is supposed to have 370 calories. The actual count was 392.9. I can forgive that. The girls at Starbucks like me.
There you go.
They probably just give me an extra squirt.
I used Chipotle's online calorie calculator to add up all the ingredients in my burrito. It came to whopping 1,175 calories. Not a huge surprise, this thing is as big as my foot. Actual count was just over 10% more, which is an understandable margin, but, nonetheless, a lot of unaccounted for calories.
A favorite snack of mine are these vegetarian sandwiches. They taste okay and are vegan, kosher, and according to the label, only have 228 calories. Plus, in big, bold, italic red letters, it says, "Healthy." And this healthy sandwich took the trophy for the biggest inaccuracy. Actual calorie content was nearly double with the label said, giving this sandwich about the same amount of calories as a Big Mac.
And lastly, Subway. I just didn't believe that a sandwich this big can only have 360 calories. But I guess that guy Jared knows what he's talking about. The only item tested becoming under the declared amount was Subway.
Now this isn't a conclusive study. I didn't test multiple samples. But I did find that, on this day, if I base my diet on the calorie count provided to me, because that the discrepancy is in those counts, I would have consumed an extra 548 calories.
So today's 548 calorie discrepancy means I unknowingly ate a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese, or two hamburgers worth the calories, or two Snickers, or a couple of donuts, which all that is a question: If the requirement to post information is going to be enforced, why not also enforce its accuracy?
Bye! Again, thanks for your help.
Bye! Thanks for having me.
- 「合計、加起來」- Add Up
I used Chipotle's online calorie calculator to add up all the ingredients in my burrito.