Within the last few years, there has been a big push to put calories on menus to fight the "obesity" epidemic. I'm sure most of us have heard about it. In mid-February, a Federal Appeals court in New York upheld the ruling of posting calories on menus. Though some chain restaurants have already been doing this, it is now required if there are 15 or more outlets. California and Philadelphia have taken similar regulations with effects occurring next year. Even the UK has gotten in on this bandwagon.
With large states taking this action, it seems like it is happening everywhere. Posted calorie menus have been seen on college campuses (though Harvard removed theirs) and now even in school districts. Case in point, in North Carolina, some districts are going high tech in presenting nutrition information, including some with calorie and fat numbers. Amy Harkey of the CMS Child Nutrition Services says, "Food can be fun for kids, and I think that message needs to come across. We don't want to burden them with too much."
While it's true that food can be fun and should be, how would presenting a blaring neon-type board with calorie counts not be burdening to children? This only emphasizes dieting, a pre-cursor to eating disorders and unhealthy body image. Though I think it is is important to have some general information, like ingredients of wheat, soy, seafood, peanut for those with allergies, I think listing calories is unwise. Schools need to figure out an alternative way of passing along nutrition information. I can guarantee that this will only cause more harm than good on an already vulnerable population.