Tools for Healthy Living: Gizmo vs. Fast Food Temptation

An August 2011 Consumer Reports article about nutritional labeling advises us how to avoid temptation at the fast food counter, citing a study that shows that a group of people who saw calorie counts before ordering consumed 14% fewer calories than a group that didn’t… other studies offer different results, showing little or no effect on consumer behavior. Does fast food nutrition labeling help us make healthier choices, yes or no?
Well, yes, and no, apparently… But we would point out one salient fact: fast food is fast. People may want to make healthy choices, but they’re also in a rush. They’re picking up and dropping off their kids, thinking about that presentation they need to deliver, or errands they need to run. If they had a few minutes to peruse the nutritional labeling, maybe they would have had time to make their own healthy lunch.

It makes sense to try to sort out this information and settle on selections during some free moment before placing an order. The article offers four suggestions for avoiding fast food temptation, the first being: Visit websites: Many fast-food chains post figures for fat, calories, and sodium. But that’s a lot of work!

Surely there must be some magical Internet gizmo that would make all this much, much easier? And, yes, there is: Fast Food Nutrition site to the rescue, complete with a Fast Food Nutrition Calculator. The calculator makes it quick and easy to explore nutrition facts for fast food at many of America’s most popular chains. You can learn Fat Calories, Total Calories, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrates and more in various categories, from sandwiches to side dishes.

It’s your easy way to make healthy decisions before you’re blinking at the lunch menu and worrying about getting to your next meeting on time.

The Right Fit

This new national public service announcement from the NAIC (the National Association of Insurance Commissioners) uses humor to encourage consumers to make sure their insurance policies fit their specific needs. Hint: your local independent agent can help – if you live in New England, find a Renaissance Alliance agent near you.