NYC health department encourages New Yorkers to count calories

NYC health department encourages New Yorkers to count calories

It’s hard to say what percentage of people might be aware that 2,000 calories is considered the reasonable upper limit of daily caloric intake for the average person.

But it’s probably very safe to say that most people are not aware of how many calories they actually consume day to day.

For instance, if you eat a typical chicken burrito with melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and refried beans, you’ll only need to consume another 800 calories to reach 2,000. But how many of us would pack away the burrito platter and then keep our intake light the rest of the day?

That’s why the New York City Health Department has started a subway advertising campaign to help make people aware how easy it is to rack up big calorie numbers. The three-month campaign is also designed to inform New Yorkers about a new city regulation that requires restaurant chains to post caloric values along with food items listed on menus.

An Associated Press report about the campaign featured a subway rider from Queens who said she actually does pay attention to the calorie counts posted in restaurants. She told the AP: “If I go to Dunkin’ Donuts, I look at the calories, and I try to take the least- calorie doughnut.”

Right. Well…I guess you’ve got to start somewhere.

When the calorie campaign is finished, maybe the health department could launch a follow-up campaign to inform New Yorkers that highly refined simple carbohydrate foods (like, you know, donuts) are very unhealthy, no matter what the calorie count.

“NYC Takes Calorie-Counting Campaign to the Rails” Karen Matthews, Associated Press, 10/7/08,