A Cure for All Ills or a Culinary Hypochondriac’s Dream?
In this day and age, the majority of people are trying to eat healthier at home. These people buy organic foods, non-genetically modified foods but what happens to them the moment that they step foot outside their homes. These newly food knowledgeable people will as soon as they leave their home will stop thinking about what is good for them and go for what is fastest. Or in case of a special occasion, will go to a place that uses butter as its main ingredient.
Studies have shown that in this time of advanced medicine that viruses are growing immune to the certain drugs and new drugs have to be developed to keep up with them. In some aspects, is that what the food world is doing to us. Do the food medical centers that we call restaurants provide us with the right prescription to our problems or are we just getting the placebo?
Francois de La Rochefoucauld, the classical French author said “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” This is true in many ways as people who eat a healthier diet are prone to have less health related issues and live a longer life. But are they missing out on one of the true pleasures in life of going out to a restaurant for a special occasion, having a fabulous meal, a few glasses of wine without worrying about how many pounds you have gained through that one meal or how many years you just took off your life.
When you are enjoying a nice, relaxing meal, do you really care that the Crème Brulee has over 700 calories, 70 percent of these from fat and that it contains over 3 times the amount of sugar that you should eat per day. Would you sit down to a meal in a restaurant with your calorie counter in one hand and your food diary in the other to keep track of what you should be eating or would you say “tonight I am not going to worry about the diet, I am going to enjoy this meal and all of its calories”.
Statistics show that 66 percent of the population in the United States over the age of 20 is obese, 17 percent of children between the ages of 12-19 are obese and 19 percent of children between the ages of 6-11 years of age are obese. The definition of obese as stated by the National Institute of Health is having a high amount of extra body fat, to measure this amount you would use a BMI or Body Mass Index. A BMI formula that is based on height and weight and is used for adults, children, and teens to measure proper weight guides. So in this growing age of obesity, should restaurants post nutritional information about the food that they serve?
The Health Institute of America has offered suggestions to restaurants about lowering the amounts of fats and sugars they add to their sauces and desserts without compromising the taste and texture of the food. Articles in health magazines and the increased number of health television programs show that with the rise in weight related food issues that more people and more are becoming concerned with what they put into their bodies. Facts show that obese people are more prone to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer. The National Institute of Health recommends eating a well balanced meal with lower fats, sugar and cholesterol with increased portions of fruit and vegetables.
The question remains though, should restaurants put themselves in the position of being someone’s health monitor? There are a lot of “If” factors involved in this debate and these are just two examples of the “Ifs”: If a person eats at said restaurant, has a heart attack, will the