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2014-02-24 at 15:28

Counting calories

By Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press
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TORONTO - Ontario could become the first province in Canada to require restaurants, convenience stores and grocery stores to post calorie counts on their menu boards and menus.

Health Minister Deb Matthews has introduced legislation that would apply the new rules to food service places that have 20 or more locations in the province.

She says they'd also be required to post a statement about daily caloric requirements to help educate patrons.

Matthews says public health inspectors would have the authority to enforce the rules and issue fines.

She says obesity costs the province about $1.6 billion a year in direct health-care costs.

She says federal legislation in the United States will soon require chain restaurants across that country to exhibit calorie counts on their menus.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says it's about giving people more information so they can make healthier choices.

She says it's also just one piece of a larger puzzle, which also includes activity levels and what you eat — not just the calorie count.

Wynne says the more people know, the better off they'll be.

 

The Canadian Press
© The Canadian Press, 2014

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Comments

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YellowSnow13 says:
This only shows how out of touch the gov. is with reality. With products like MSG and Aspartame on the market, deemed safe by Ontario Health, and they make you want to eat more, what makes you think that seeing 1500 calories in a burger is going to make you stop buying a second one? The gov. is anti-business by adding this stupidity to the mix. So the hot dog cart better start showing how many calories in a dog. What about the restaurant that changes the menu? Update the calorie count. What about FN? Are restaurants on their land going to do the same. Probably not! They still allow smoking. What a joke Ontario Health and Premier Wynne! Just more of doing nothing!
2/24/2014 3:39:02 PM
jb says:
You could try reading the article. The second paragraph answers half of your questions.
2/24/2014 4:28:44 PM
Papercut says:
This is GREAT!!!!

It is stunning how much FAT, SODIUM, and CALORIES are in most prepared food we eat. It is about time that they have to let us know what is in the food they feed us.
2/24/2014 3:52:29 PM
rootbear says:
Most times than not, these values are on packaging in stores. People are too lazy to read. Even if they knew, chances are they would still order that Big Mac or KFC meal. I do my research at home saving time and money. And the menuboard idea? That'll cost operators THOUSANDS of dollars to change over. Can you imagine the line up at drive thru reading the nutritional contents of all the menu items?
2/25/2014 8:21:48 AM
sd says:
@yellowsnow
While I agree with some of your comment I find it difficult to take seriously since it seems you didn't take time to actually read the article and just wanted to find a reason to hate something and complain. These laws apply to businesses with 20 or more locations across the province. How many hot dog cart owners will be impacted by this? How many chain restaurants are located on FN? How does a changing menu get impacted by this?
They are making an effort to discover a solution to a problem. Is it perfect? Maybe not but at least they are out there trying and not sitting around complaining about things like a few people on here do and making no effort to change anything
2/24/2014 4:38:18 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
Guess you have never been to southern Ontario. Some of those guys own many carts and hire people to run the carts. So you must have a closed mind. Now is it fair business to force Tim Hortons that is on every street corner to put on a calorie count while Dunkin Donuts, that have maybe 15 left in Ontario to not put it on? Lets go more local. Burger king and McDonalds have to have the calorie count but the Propector with it's 2 locations don't. Bottom line: It's a waste of time to calculate it and force businesses to do it. What if you don't...a fine? Shut them down? Why not start by doing what I originally stated. Get rid of the MSG and Aspertame. It would be far better than this. Maybe you should look into these 2 items and see how healthy they are. That is why they are out of touch.
2/25/2014 10:11:58 AM
countrychick says:
This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!!! talk about a nanny state I am a grown adult and it is only MY business what I eat! the government can butt of my business!!! period! People are going to eat what they want to eat and calories do not give all the info anyway!!! DUMB!!!!!!!
2/24/2014 4:41:23 PM
smartguy83 says:
I disagree. Usually when I eat out I want to know what I am eating. People who have active/athletic hobbies (sports, weightlifting, running, etc) need to know what they are eating. It's not so much about using this information to decide whether or not to order it. I typically use it to plan my next meal to ensure I am achieving my nutritional targets.

Everyone has their "cheat" meals. It's knowing what you actually ate that is important.

You can still eat those 15 big macs and no one will stop you. not sure how they are "butting" in your business. It's not like they are tracking your calories in a big data base?
2/25/2014 10:30:10 AM
jonthunder says:
I admit my ignorance on this item. But, how will we be assured what the food establishments list on the menu as total calories to be accurate? Who and how will this be regulated, enforced?
2/24/2014 5:56:16 PM
tothecloud says:
A step in the right direction, but until our government curbs the out of control advertising done by the bigger fast food joints not much will change. There should be a limit to what fast food companies can advertise. Not as harsh of a ban as say smoking, but some sort of limit.

I doubt this will get posted as I'm sure Dougall Media will not want to upset their corporate advertising overlords.
2/24/2014 6:07:07 PM
Hey Boy says:
Perfect example of First World Problems. People are starving in the world and we here need the gov't to hold are hands and display every calorie on a food item. Nanny state.
2/24/2014 6:21:12 PM
tadzup says:
What an absolutely ridiculous waste of time and money this is. Just one more reason to add to the list of why I won't be voting Liberal in the next election.

It's no one's fault but your own if you're obese and unhealthy because of the way that you eat. The government shouldn't have to babysit grown adults.
2/24/2014 6:37:28 PM
pc says:
This is assinine. It is more proof that this gov. is anti- business.
Get new menus printed $$$
Lose business and probably get fined if someone sees something wrong with the figures.
I rarely go out to eat so when I do it is a treat and I don't really care the calorie count or fat content.
Most people don't bother reading a paper or a book so what makes the gov. think they will read all the fine print on the menu.
Most restaurants have such low light you have a hard time reading the menu anyway.
Is the restaurant supposed to have the server who tells you the specials also recite the calorie count?
Most people who are concerned already know what foods are bad and what are good.
If they don't they live in lala land or maybe the same land as this gov. appears to be in.
Do something that is actually going to affect most people.
Like maybe the hydro rates or the health care system or lack there of.
If this health minister can't follow a diet plan do her own reading and leave us out.
2/24/2014 7:03:33 PM
ring of fire dude says:
The Province is in near bankruptcy and they are worried about restaurant menus . How about putting Ontario Hydro and it's executives on a salary diet ? (No pun intended)
2/24/2014 9:24:51 PM
smartguy83 says:
False. You realize people actually take comments on these boards and treat them as 100% accurate. Now tomorrow some goof is going to have a rally to save the government from bankruptcy.
2/25/2014 10:33:03 AM
lori says:
see, this is what politics is all about.

A government does something and one person says the gov't is stupid and the other applauds.

Such is life I suppose.
2/24/2014 11:04:38 PM
mnr says:
Is it really necessary to continually make rules to protect people from themselves? Absolutely! In fact, I think we should start including graphic images of what food can do to you on menus and fast food wrappers, similar to cigarette packages.
2/24/2014 11:12:18 PM
leafsfanatic says:
You can always find the info on the restaurant's website. It's no mystery how bad fast food is for you, but somehow people don't realize it until it's right in front of their face. I know now when I go out I usually check beforehand, it doesn't stop me from going but it might discourage me from ordering the triple belly buster burger, poutine, and a shake. Oh, and don't forget dessert afterwards :)
2/25/2014 7:36:59 AM
Papercut says:
@countrychick

I understand that it is your choice what you put in your mouth and consume, BUT, understand that it will be the taxpayers who eventually pay for your healthcare.

If the government wants to help enlighten us to perhaps make some healthier choices, then why not???
2/25/2014 9:13:30 AM
formula one says:
How about starting with the menu at the cafeteria in Queen's Park. What a joke. Hospitals in gridlock and the Minister of Health wastes resources on this????
2/25/2014 9:19:21 AM
pc says:
She says they'd also be required to post a statement about daily caloric requirements to help educate patrons.

I thought it was my job as a parent to teach my children, what and how to eat.
It has worked well for generations before the Nanny state government decided to take over the careers of parents.
Yes, parenting is a career and one I totally enjoy.
What is Next???
Coming into homes to see what you feed your family.
For mine I cook healthy meals low carbs no sugar but one night a week usually Friday is fry night. Deep fried fish chips and onion rings. Coleslaw from scratch.
So there that saves you the trip.
People enjoy fast food so get over it.

Deal with the spending on credit and let people worry about what they wish to eat.
Instead of sex ed teach home economics in school. Most young adults I talk to have no idea how to cook. So they reach for the prepared foods.
Education is supposed to teach things that will benefit the student in real world.
So Teach don't lecture!!!
2/25/2014 9:53:06 AM
barryhorowitz says:
It called willpower!! People know what good and whats bad for them. Once again its up to people to take responsibility for their actions
2/25/2014 10:35:32 AM
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