Take Calorie Counts Off Menus
Health and Wellness

As Someone Recovering From An Eating Disorder, I Don't Need To See The Calorie Counts On My Menu

For someone with an eating disorder, no matter the type, calorie counts on a menu could be trigger-some.


Dear chain restaurants,

Within the last year, I have noticed that chain restaurants like Olive Garden and Red Robin now include the calorie count on their menus. While I think this was done to help people eat better and understand how many calories they are consuming in a meal, there are so many reasons this should not be done.

I have a history of anorexia nervosa. While I am in "remission" as I like to call it, I never consider myself a recovered anorexic because every day is a struggle. For someone with an eating disorder, no matter the type, calorie counts on a menu could be highly trigger-some.

Sometimes when I go out to eat, if I see the calorie counter, I don't want to eat at all! Sometimes I will want to get a certain item, maybe I was even craving that item, I will struggle to get it once I see how many calories the food item has.

For people with eating disorders, these calorie counters can be highly detrimental to our health. Someone who has just begun recovering could relapse due to the stress of knowing how many calories they are consuming. Even my family and friends who have not had eating disorders have told me that the calorie counts influence their decision on what to eat.

Some people will tell me that the calorie counts on menus do more good than harm. They claim that there are so few people with eating disorders (they're not wrong) that the majority of people will benefit from the calorie counts on menus! But that's just plain false.

There are plenty of people out there who don't even know what a calorie is, what it means, or how many calories someone should have in a day. In fact, most people are highly uninformed about the daily calorie goal!

I do have some suggestions on how to make eating out safer and healthier for everyone. Make sure calorie count menus are available for all customers who request them. Keep a calorie count menu online for people to peruse if they choose. Dedicate a section of the menu to lower calorie, lower sodium, and lower sugar foods for those dieting or with restricted diets. Do not charge extra when somebody wants to substitute french fries for a salad.

These suggestions are much safer for people with histories of eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorders, and society in general. Instead of shaming people for wanting to eat a high-calorie meal, the restaurant should embrace it. We shouldn't be ashamed to eat food because of the calories in that food!

I know you are trying to help keep people healthy, but by doing this you are actually making some people sick. People don't often eat out to eat healthily, they eat out to enjoy themselves, food, and good company. Make it a little easier on them by offering calorie count menus but not having them available at every table, for anyone to see.

Report this Content
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less

Jennifer Kustanovich is not only the president of the Odyssey at Stony Brook University but is also an illuminating yoga instructor. She's an inspiring proactive leader in the wellness industry. Her expertise in movement expands onto Zumba and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

On the last day of her in-person class, she gave everyone a way of contacting her and made sure to check up on all her clients. She wanted to ensure that they were doing okay and to remind them that she is always there.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Female-Owned Swimwear Brands Are Must-Haves For Your HOTTEST Summer Yet

To all the woman who put their money where their mouth is, lets do two things for the price of one.

The start of summer is always exciting,(especially after an unprecedented pandemic) and people are itching to make this particular summer count. Correction: with the amount gratefulness I have for life at this moment in time I am itching to make this summer count.

But at the same time, in the midst of social justice issues, activism is something that is at the forefront of many people's minds, including mine. With money comes power and buying Black is a way to directly help the marginalized and oppressed while getting something in return.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Are The Black-Owned Restaurants In Chicago You Should Absolutely Be Supporting

Support the movement and your appetite at the same time with these amazing spots.

The Black Lives Matter movement is taking the country by storm to crash down systematic racism and liberate people of color. However, during these changing it can be hard to determine what you can do to make an impact besides reposting Instagram stories and texting petition numbers. Instead, support Black-owned businesses or, more specifically, Black-owned restaurants. Here are some outstanding and underrated Black-owned restaurants in Chicago that can help you support the movement.
Keep Reading... Show less

10 Things To Know About LDRs, From A Couple Separated By The Atlantic Ocean AND A Pandemic

There will be challenges, but more often than not, it's worth it.

Most individuals in relationships have not been able to go on romantic dates in quite a while due to business closures in the wake of the pandemic. Other couples have encountered challenges while seeing each other face to face in the past three months due to coronavirus regulations. Long-distance relationships have unfortunately become a reality for many in this era of global health crises. Western New York native and travel journalist, Chelsea Baron, knows this all too well.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments