Boy time flies when you’re having fun! And yes, I’ve been having fun writing the Nutrition Q&A column in The Washington Post. Publication of the June 1st column marks column #20. This column came to be because I and several colleagues saw a big need at The Post for a column written by a dietitian to offer readers reliable, evidence-based answers to popular nutrition questions.
Announcing the arrival of my newest book, Eat Out, Eat Well – The Guide to Eating Healthy at Any Restaurant, published by the American Diabetes Association, available online from ADA's book store or from my amazon a-store.
I’m no stranger to this topic, that’s for sure! I’ve been fine-tuning my advice on strategies and tactics for healthy restaurant eating for more than two decades. My first book on the subject, The Restaurant Companion, was published 25 years ago. Wow!
Changes in types of restaurant fare, the frequency of eating restaurant meals increased availability of nutrition information online and much more has changed and thus the need for a totally refreshed book - now THE go-to resource for assembling all types of healthy meals and snacks in just about any type of restaurant, from fast food to fast casual, to upscale dining and numerous ethnic cuisines.
Our kids are growing up with restaurant meals a frequent feature of their food repertoire. That’s truer than ever before. And it’s likely to increase not decrease.
Restaurant foods, whether you eat them in, take them home or eat them on a ball field, are accessible 24/7/365 today. Our pace of life is faster than ever and convenience-driven, particularly when it comes to food. The digital age will forge ahead with technologies to make it even easier and less energy expending to order restaurant foods fast. Meals will be ready and waiting for you in restaurants with the touch of an app. You’ll place your order in sit down restaurants with a digital device.
You get the picture.
Pile on the sad fact that kids aren’t learning near enough about how to purchase and prepare foods. They’re lack of motivation is understandable with restaurant foods a plenty whenever, whereever. A catch-22, for sure!
On Sept 30 California’s governor signed the first state-wide legislation to require chain restaurants with more than 20 locations to offer up key nutrition facts, such as calories, saturated fat, carbohydrate and sodium, at the point of purchase (right next to the price of the item on menus or menu boards). No longer will the availability of this information on websites, on posters or in brochures be sufficient. The legislation goes into effect July 2009 and takes full effect in 2011.
A recent report from a Scripps Television station investigation reveals wide discrepancies between the restaurant’s nutrition facts (calories and fat) and those determined by laboratory nutrition analysis. The investigation took place over 3 months, in 8 cities and on meals mainly from sit down restaurants, such as Chili’s, Applebee’s, and Cheesecake Factory ; and one fast food restaurant, Taco Bell. Some discrepancies were several fold, even on healthier entries. Others were more on target.