December 19th, 2010

Keep your calories, off my...

Two nights ago, I made my way out to the local Applebee's for a nice (for me, at least) dinner. I had good reasons for doing so: for one, I was one day removed from finishing an eighteen credit semester at Hofstra, and for two, I was quite hungry. I settled in, and waited at least seven minutes until the server could find the time to get to my table. While waiting, I looked over the menu to confirm my standard selections. In so doing, I saw something I hadn't noticed before - calorie counts.

There were nine hundred and ten in the mozzarella sticks that would serve as my appetizer. And there were nine hundred and forty more in the chicken fingers basket that would be the entree. That's a total of 1,850, or 92.5% of the USDA's recommended daily intake. I was momentarily daunted...but I would not be denied. I refused to bow to the power of the nanny state. I ordered the food that I wanted, and I devoured it all.

I don't know whether or not these calorie counts were put there specifically to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But that's an irrelevant point. Whether or not the calorie counts are directly imposed by the nanny state, I will not bow to them. I am not opposed to eating healthy. But I will do it when I choose, on my terms, and will not be bullied into it by scare mongering numbers on a menu.

Unfortunately, my aversion to submission to the food police has one notable drawback. I love the city of San Francisco, but it's on the leading edge of this charge. In fact, Reason recognized the city as the 2010 Nanny of the Year:

It probably wouldn't be enough to reject SF as a future home and/or workplace, but it would have to come under consideration.