Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Sticker Shock

  • More restaurants, vending machines to display calorie counts – but will it change our eating habits?
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    • Watch what you drink
      The holidays are a time when it’s easy to consume extra calories. Here’s how many calories are in various beverages:

      12-ounce serving Calories
      Soda 124-189
      Diet soda 0-7...
      » Read more
      Watch what you drink
      The holidays are a time when it’s easy to consume extra calories. Here’s how many calories are in various beverages:

      12-ounce serving Calories

      Soda 124-189

      Diet soda 0-7

      Bottled sweet tea 129-143

      Brewed tea, unsweet 4

      Orange juice, unsweetened 157-168

      Apple juice, unsweetened 169-175

      Tomato/Vegetable juice 80

      Cranberry juice cocktail 205

      Whole Milk 220

      Two-percent low-fat milk 183

      One-percent low-fat milk 154

      Nonfat milk 125

      Soy milk 147-191

      Coffee, black 0-4

      Coffee, with cream 39-43

      Coffee, with whipped cream 15-19

      Caffe Latte, whole milk 200

      Caffe Latte, nonfat 120

      Sports drink 94

      Energy drink 160

      Beer 153

      5-ounce serving Calories

      Red wine 125

      White wine 122

      1.5-ounce serving Calories

      Hard liquor 96

      — Compiled by Jamal Brown,

      Siftings Herald, Arkansas

      SOURCE: www.webmd.com
  • A Big Mac, a large Coke and large fries has 1,360 calories — more than three times the recommended 400 calories per meal.
    Public health officials hope seeing calorie counts like these on restaurant menus and vending machines will lead consumers to make healthier food choices and help reduce obesity in America. But as Americans increasingly opt for meals outside the home, the battle’s quickly becoming uphill.
    ‘Healthy’ options
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts on menus. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 280,000 of the United State’s 600,000 restaurants will be subject to the new regulations.
    In September, McDonald’s was one of the first large fast food chains to roll out the new menus.
    Starting in­­ 2013, the American Beverage Association is launching its Calories Count program with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, where calorie information will be posted on vending machines. The program is first rolling out in a few cities, then going nation-wide.
    Whether the up-front information will lead to healthier choices is still up for debate.
    The fight against childhood obesity is also being waged in Linn County. Brookfield Elementary/Middle School Principal Melinda Wilbeck said her family does limit sugary drinks for the children.
    "Although we could certainly do a much better job with consistency with our expectations,” admitted Wilbeck.
    "Our children do have limits regarding the amount of sugary drinks they consume, in addition to the amount of 'junk' food that is allowed. We encourage the consumption of water and milk, in addition to offering fruits and/or vegetables at most meals.”
    As far as the calorie information on vending machines, Vanessa Lincoln, Linn County Health Department administrator, had mixed feelings.
    "Honestly, I don't know that just knowing the amount of calories in an item is going to defer a child from drinking it,” said Lincoln. “Especially when they don't see any immediate consequences from consuming the beverage. Honestly, I know the calories in a double cheeseburger and that doesn't deter me from eating one every once in a while. For there to be an evident impact on childhood obesity there has to be a change in behavior, from the parents, caregivers, teachers, health-care professionals, etc.”
    Another local parent limits sugary beverages, but for more than just weight concerns.
    "I do limit sugary drinks for my two boys,” said Monica Graves, a single mother. “They cause behavior issues in children. I limit all of their sugar intakes, to be honest. They drink a lot of water, and get juice at breakfast. The rest of the time they drink milk.”
    — Dustin Watson contributed information to this report.
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