The Instigator
thunderbird34
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Seek
Con (against)
Winning
33 Points

Should restaurants include calories on their menus?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Seek
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 860 times Debate No: 42442
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

thunderbird34

Pro

Restaurants should include calories count so people eating at restaurants know what they are eating.
Seek

Con

I accept and look forward to the discussion.

I'll be arguing from a standpoint of personal responsibility, and supporting that while calorie count posting is unnecessary, for necessary health reasons a list of ingredients should be made available.

Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1
thunderbird34

Pro

thunderbird34 forfeited this round.
Seek

Con

First point: The responsibility for healthy eating lies with the person, not the venue.

We all choose what we would like to eat. Frankly, if I'm enjoying a nice night out with the girls, and I choose to have a cocktail and a Cr"me Br"l"e, I don't particularly want to be reminded that I'm taking in 900 calories. I'm there to enjoy myself - be entertained with food and friends. A person on a diet strict enough to warrant calorie counting is probably not ordering a Double Martini and a Cr"me Br"l"e, anyway, unless they are deliberately discarding their diet for the night as well.

As far as chain restaurants go, if you're standing at a McDonald's counter, there's no evidence to suggest that seeing that "600" next to the Big Mac is going to make you choose a side salad and a glass of water instead.

"What we're seeing is that many consumers, particularly vulnerable groups, do not report noticing calorie labeling information and even fewer report using labeling to purchase fewer calories," says lead study author Dr. Brian Elbel, assistant professor of Population Health and Health Policy at NYU School of Medicine.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Second point: It has been demonstrably shown that restaurant calorie counts are often inaccurate and unreliable.

The larger chain restaurants (McSomething and Burger Guy and their ilk) are often pretty bang-on, and often overestimate their calorie content. However, smaller chains are often off - and sometimes WAY off.

When this happens, it's usually in the supposed "low calorie" options. And here is why:

If you order a burger, it's pretty much the same every time. 1/4 lb of meat, slice of cheese that's pretty predictable, slice of tomato, little lettuce, some ketchup and mustard, on a standard bun, maybe buttered on top.

If you order a salad, you get whatever the prep cook threw together. Handful of this, few chunks of that, dump a bunch of cheese and Bacon Bits on top, and what kind of dressing would you like? Serving size three tablespoons, but you know you're pouring at least a third of a cup of creamy fresh Bleu Cheese on that baby. Bang, you've got yourself an 1,100 calorie garden salad.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com...

Third point: Our whole system of calorie counting is increasingly proven flawed.

The system of determining the caloric content of a food item does not take into account how that food is used by the digestive system. Cooked meat actually introduces more calories to the body than raw, because cooking gelatinizes the collagen in meat making it easier to digest. Resistant starches in cereals and beans take a long time to digest, but if you grind them into flour first, they digest more quickly, giving more of the calories time to be absorbed into the body. Thus, equal "calorie counts" of bread and pinto beans will result in a great difference in actual energy absorption.

Source: http://news.sciencemag.org...

In conclusion: If we cannot trust current calorie count information from standard calorie counting methods, and the restaurant's counts can't be relied on as accurate, why on earth should anyone bother relying on calorie counts on menus to manage their diets? If anything, it does them more harm than good. And if we're all honest, there's no good reason for the restaurant to be responsible for the food choices of their patrons. Their job is to make food that tastes good and passes reasonable requirements for sanitation.

By all means, keep an ingredient list available for customers with allergies, celiac disease, or lactose intolerance, but don't force every restaurant-goer to stare down a bunch of ultimately meaningless numbers when they're just trying to have a good time.
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
Hm. Someone might have mentioned somewhere that this site doesn't support special characters. Though I don't see how graves graves and circumflexes can be considered "special".
Posted by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
Yes. Sometimes it take 2 days.. or they don't respond at all and forfeit.
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
Does it typically take this long for people to respond?
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
I have no friggin' idea. But I had to get something as a first actual debate here.

The vague prompt thing is old already, I have to say.
Posted by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
I don't understand why all these debates have no clear goals and very vague central claims.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Automatic win to CON due to forfeit by pro.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Only one side did the debate
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Only con gave an argument. Plus forfeit.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit points go to Con. I hope your future debates will be more relevant than this one and thanks for making a case in the final round even when there was nothing to rebut.
Vote Placed by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made arguments and supported her position with evidence. Pro forfeited and failed to fulfill his burden of proof. Only Con used sources.
Vote Placed by Guidestone 3 years ago
Guidestone
thunderbird34SeekTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited