This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Do your corporate wellness clients know how many calories they are eating when they go out for lunch? A new law from the FDA will start requiring restaurants to post calorie listings and provide more detailed nutritional information upon request.
New Law Makes Calorie Information Easier to Find
While you can already find many restaurants’ caloric content online through a simple search, making this information more visible inside restaurants or on menus is a reasonable thing to ask. You don’t go into a restaurant and order a meal without knowing the price, so why blindly order an item that might exceed your entire calorie budget for the day?
Extending Calorie Count Transparency to Corporate Cafeterias
Let’s take this one step further for worksite health promotion. Many corporations have an onsite cafeteria whose management most likely has access to the nutritional content of their offerings.
At my site, we have partnered with our cafeteria vendor to advertise the calorie breakdown of its staple items as well as daily specials. This information is displayed visually in the cafeteria via posters and brochures and is also available online. Further, our cafeteria vendor has a “sticker system” where color-coded stickers mark the items that are low-fat, low-calorie, and low-carb.
Keep in mind as you set out to partner with a cafeteria vendor or a restaurant that they are businesses and therefore must make a profit .While their managers may be open to introducing healthier selections, they will keep their top-selling items, whether they have 200 calories or 1,200.
Here is where you can suggest to your corporate wellness clients the concept of moderation on their lunch break. Indulging every now and then is okay, but staying informed is the key to sustainable health.