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#4 Food Trend for 2011: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Sometimes we don't want to know the nutrition numbers

 This is one of The Food Channel's Top 10 Food Trends for 2011, based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International. For the full list, click here.


Sometimes we don't want to know the nutrition numbers. Politicians on the local, state, and federal government level are stepping up efforts to legislate healthier eating. These well-meaning efforts have led to calorie counts on restaurant menus, bans on trans fats, and a war on sodium. They’ve also brought about a backlash. Let’s face it. Some things we just don’t want to know. We’re okay having pamphlets on nutrition being available, but do we really have to have the calories and fat listed in bold type on the menu right next to our favorite megaburger? For many, it’s just another example of the Nanny State, and the answer is simply “No, thanks.”

Part of the 2,500-page health care legislation passed by Congress earlier this year is a requirement for all large restaurant chains—those with 20 or more outlets—to put calorie information on their menus and drive-through signs.  The law will also require labels on food items in vending machines.

Some are saying the food safety and nutrition bill passed by Congress just this month could limit frequent school bake sales and fundraisers that give kids extra chances to eat brownies and pizza. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has called efforts to limit junk food in schools a “nanny state run amok.” 

Believe it or not, there was actually a bill introduced in the Mississippi legislature a while back that would have prohibited restaurants from serving food to a person deemed to be obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health. What, did they have to step on scale when they entered the restaurant? Come on.

When we order the Baconator at Wendy’s, we pretty much know what we’re getting into, don’t we? We just want to take a blissful bite without thinking about nutritional numbers. It’s like that old saying, “if you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it." Read the full top ten. To view our Top Ten Foods to Watch in 2011, click here.

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For evidence, read:

New School Food Bill Is Anything But Junk

Is Obesity Legislation Coming?

Can We Handle the Truth?

Health Care Bill and Calorie Counts: Will It Lead to Food Revolution?

Menu Labeling, Part 1: Who, What, Where and Why

No Fat People Allowed