Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What the Buck?


I just arrived back from one of my local Starbucks stores (yes, that's plural in NYC) and need to know--does your Starbucks location post the caloric content of its food items? I've never noticed this before!

There, beneath each pastry name on the little pastry card was written the number of calories it contained. I have to admit, I was quite surprised to learn the caloric content of my beloved Rice Krispie Treat (aka Starbucks' generic "Crispy Marshmallow Square"). I know that this information is posted on-line, but I'm not the kind of person to look.

Yet, here it was, staring me in the face. What do you think about the in-store postings? Yay or nay?

77 comments:

Chuckles McGee said...

Yay. Everyone has a right to know what's in their food. If knowing the truth bothers you, perhaps you should avoid looking at the label, or, god forbid, choose a healthier option.

WeightingGame said...

I'm for it. Ignorance may be bliss when it comes to the temporary enjoyment of food but for someone trying to control their caloric intake, this could be a useful tool. I was writing there the other day and they handed out samples of some ridiculously delicious mocha-java-frappa thing and as I sucked it down, I looked at the cals posted nearby and it was a horrendous fat bomb. (I mean, I still drank it...obvs) But they also showed how to order a lighter version (no whip, etc). And of course, SBux now has the whole line of "skinny" drinks, which I think people just like to say while ordering :-)

Bellesouth said...

I like it. It's a great precedent.

I mean, it really is good to kind of know what you're eating.

Rachel said...

I'd prefer to know the caloric content, too. I still have trouble eating out when I am not sure of the nutrition information. I usually look it up online before we try a new restaurant. Posting the calorie information would make eating out so much more stress-free.

But even for someone who isn't disordered, know what is in the food choices you make is useful and helps you to make informed and healthier decisions.

disordered girl said...

I wish every place had it too (my Starbucks do not, but I have looked online before). Even though it might feed obsessiveness to a degree, the unknowns of eating out (and an assumption that everything at restaurants is crazy-high caloric content) is usually my biggest trigger for unhealthy coping behaviors.

Fauve said...

Oh, god, I don't know. For some, it would not even be an option to eat the damn thing, so it doesn't matter if the calories are posted. For others, seeing all the fat and calories may make them chose something of lesser calories/fat (yet, probably not any better - or worse - than what they would have gone with). I presume (since I seldom go to Starbucks) that this is unpackaged stuff (since everything in a package usually has all the info). I mean: a big "Whatever" is my heart-felt response. I doubt that one of anything, no matter how calorie-laden or fatty, is going to do anyone in or destroy their diet if they are normal eaters. I'm waiting for them to start labeling foods with signs that say: "sinner - turn ye back Now from this dreadful temptation"!!!! Of course, would something like that even sell? (Or, maybe it would sell Alot). All I know is that when the binge monster comes a-callin', knowing all the nutritional info doesn't mean much. Each box of Twinkies has all the, you know, relevant info, yet it still won't stop me if I am in that mode. (And when are they going to start posting labels on veggies and fruits that list all the toxic chemicals on them? Or, for organic fruit, a label that says: "I cost alot, and I have a rather drab taste)." When I was a kid apples not only tasted great, but also *smelled* great. Apples of a non-organic nature (I don't think they even had organic in supermarkets in the 70s).

The Rotund said...

I hate it. I think it is another sign of the pervasive nature of the Diet Culture and I oppose it. I don't believe calorie restriction is healthy nor is it the responsibility of the restaurant to make healthful choices for me. I particularly dislike menus that contain this information - I'm eating out to enjoy the experience of eating out, not to participate in the weighing and measuring of every single thing I put in my mouth.

chuckles mcgee, do you really think the insulting tone was necessary? It's a Rice Krispy Treat. There is no inherent moral value to it or to chosing something "healthier" to eat.

I appreciate when they post info about allergens (since, you know, I don't want to DIE) but that's really about it.

The Rotund said...

fauve, on a different note, I'm not sure what organic fruit you are eating but the organic apples I eat are SO FREAKING AMAZING. *grin* I wasn't even eating apples before because they were mealy and bland and just... waxy. The organic stuff I get, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life and amazing taste.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate it (and I don't even GO to Starbucks). The move to start listing calorie information on menus so infuriates me that I will not patronize any restaurant that starts doing that. I don't need Mommy to tell me what I should and shouldn't eat.

And honestly, the "calorie theory" (yes it's a theory, like many others) is not entirely accurate anyway. Check out a very interesting, technically sound, non-diet, book called "Good Calories, Bad Calories". It's very enlightening.

weedivine said...

Well... as the last poster said... calories are a theory. Its a lovely way to mess with our bodies, if you start obsessing and counting calories its fairly difficult to still listen to your body and trust its hunger. If someone has managed to do both... I'd love to hear how. The decision to eat or not eat a goodie at Starbucks should not be made based on calories if we're trying to promote long term balanced eating.

Sarah said...

I'm pretty sure it's a new law in NYC that chains have to post such info. Big Brother is watching.

Deniselle said...

Definitely nay. I'm a bit bugged by how many commenters are talking about "knowing what's in your food". Knowing how many calories your food has says nothing about the nutritional value. I don't think counting calories should play a part in a healthy person's food choices. I consider it a part of a "dieting" mindset and/or eating disordered thinking.

I also think we should have some pleasures left where we simply don't need to know. Every bite doesn't have to be regulated by health information.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer what my local organic grocery store does, which is list the ingredients of all of their pre-made items (in the bakery or take-out food section). Of course, if most restaurants posted the ingredients in their food, they would probably lose customers.
---rebster

Millie said...

I don't like it. I've noticed it popping up here and there - although not at Starbucks yet - and I'd really prefer not to feel pressured to get something low cal because what I really want has "too many" calories. I think it's one thing to have the nutritional information available for people to look through, and another to shove it in your face like that. Like, on the one hand, I'd like to be able to check and see if what I'm ordering has 1500mg of salt in it so I can choose something else, or if there's any chance its been in contact with allergens, but on the other seeing "Rice Krispie Square - *** calories" would drive me from the store.

One Bite said...

Gyah.

"Crisp Rice Squares" are made with butter and marshmallow... or hydrolized equivalents or whatever. If you think your "Crisp Rice Square" is lo-cal you have problems.

That being said, I'm pretty neutral on the posting of calories in items. You don't have to look at it. However, if Sarah's statement is true, that's a little unnerving. I'd rather not have the government in my pantry, y'know?

Also: I've given up on buying produce from most local chain stores because it's crap. Bland, dry, bruised, and quick to spoil. The organic stuff I've been getting is way WAY better. Much more flavorful and juicy, much more ripe tasting.

tori_927 said...

100% yay. I think knowledge is power, if you don't want to know, then...I don't know, cover your eyes or something.

Twistie said...

Caloric value? No, I'd rather not have it staring me in the face. It's easy in the current fatophobic world to look at any indication of how many calories something has as proof that you shouldn't eat. If I want a brownie, I'll have a damn brownie. If I don't, I won't. The number of calories won't make my decision for me, but for a lot of people I'm guessing it will.

Ironically enough, I'd rather have an ingredient list and carb and fat count. I don't want the carb and fat info for dieting, though, I want it to help my diabetic husband determine what he can eat without sending his blood sugar skyrocketing...though if he went for the renamed Rice Krispies Treat, he'd already know he was in trouble.

Ingredients? For people who have food allergies.

Just as a musing, though, I have to wonder how listing the calories is affecting sales of sweet treats. If it depresses the market enough, my guess is that the little signs will magically go away.

And that's quite all right with me.

Millie had a good idea, though, in that restaurants, etc. could have the information available for customers who want/need it for some reason to request, where everyone else could just choose what they like without reading the manual.

There's informed and then there's assaulted with information.

Sarah said...

here's more info about the regulation and the controversy surrounding it.

http://www2.nysun.com/article/74258

Anonymous said...

Can you do a post on the Biggest Loser? On the finale last night, a young woman won who went from 207 pounds to 122 pounds. She looked tiny! She also seemed tired/gaunt/and in general, out of it. On her "at home" clips they show her struggling with "binging" late at night. I just feel like the show has the potential to do more harm than good. This woman wanted to win so badly to be the first woman winner and now I think she's 1) too thin 2) flirting with a dangerous food relationship. Thanks!

Palmtreechick said...

I'm all for it. I wish every food service place listed the nutritional facts. It would make my life a lot easier.

hotsauce said...

wow, i'm surprised so many people here are in favor of this! i think it's horrible. list ingredients, sure, for allergy reasons, vegetarians and vegans, people who want to avoid certain substances like artificial sweeteners, etc. but calories?

i'll tell you what happens then: people stop buying the things they really want to buy and instead purchase the "lighter" options. and then their former favorites become a fetish that they "can't have."

as for people who said that this makes things easier for them ... what about the rest of us? i'm not talking about starbucks in particular here, but other restaurants too, because i'm sure this will start becoming a trend at many places. and i for one do not really feel like playing the morality game every time i read a menu. i've been working too hard to get over my food issues to have calorie tallies shoved in my face. (and "not looking" doesn't quite work when it's right there next to the menu item.)

Karen said...

How are you supposed to ignore it or not look at it when it is on the same sign as the price? Do you also advocate people not knowing the price of what they buy as would happen if they "just closed their eyes?"

I'm all for more information, but caloric content by itself tells you absolutely nothing. It is, indeed very good to know what you're eating. So I'm sitting here looking at a consumable item with 70 calories per serving. Anyone want to guess what's in this consumable item? Is it healthy?

Calories alone doesn't give information to anyone except calorie counters. It doesn't give information to diabetics, who need information to live. It doesn't give information to phenylketonurics, who need information to live. It doesn't give anyone any needed information.

Fauve said...

Rotund - I loved apples as a child, but now? They taste so bland to me. Maybe I'll have to give "organic" apples another try, though.

jenn said...

Yay all the way.

Michelle said...

They are able to post their calories but as someone with weird food allergies you ask them what is in their food, they look at you like you a monster.

zubeldia said...

I would prefer that they posted ingredients and nutritional info... calories are only a part of that. I think, honestly, it's a pretty good idea. Not from a dieting standpoint, but because the fast food industry has a nasty habit of putting absolutely addictive stuff in food to make it more appealing. I would like to know if there is some animal derived ingredient, for example...

Z

Anonymous said...

I second zubeldia - for all those arguing that calorie postings lead one to make "healthier" choices - that's only when healthier = less calories, which, actually, is the wrong arithmatic sign there. Healthy food has nothing to do with calorie content. Now, if restaurants wanted to post all nutrition info - THAT would help people make healthier choices. Posting carbohydrates would help diabetics regulate their insulin better. But low cal /= healthy.

Meowser said...

BOOOOO. All I'm gonna say is, by this NYC law, they only make "fast food" places list their calorie counts. Nobody's gonna make Peter Luger's tell you how many calories are in the 28-ounce Porterhouse, capisce? It's pure classism, methinks. If they were going to list ALL the ingredients including potential allergens, fine, but this is all about GUILT TRIPPING WORKING CLASS WOMEN over the rare treats that they allow themselves to alleviate their stress (you think 98% of men give a crap how many calories are in a Rice Krispies treat?).

Tangerina said...

I think it is no good! I mean, they should definitely have the information available for people who ask, along with ingredients and all that because people should be able to know what they are putting into their bodies, but just shoving it down people's throats by making it unavoidable is really not cool. I know that as far as I have come with intuitive eating it all goes to hell if I become very aware of calories, whether it is that afraid of being hungry feeling that comes with diet foods or terrified of overeating feeling that occurs when I find out something is way more caloric than I thought. I'd rather just not know and eat what I'm hungry for until I am full, which is really hard for me to do if I take calories into account.

Ciocia said...

I'm for it. You can ignore information if you think it's not worthwhile. Nobody is forcing you to eat or not eat the food.

thepharmacykid said...

I think I basically agree with fauve and the rotund, and millie too. I can understand that a lot of people might want that information, and that's fair enough. But there's something about that sign that feels sort of rude. I think it's because most of us (by us I mean women, but it probably applies to plenty of guys too) are so overly sensitive to this kind of thing that a sign saying, say, "120CAL" might as well say "120CAL. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO EAT THAT? YOU KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T. I'LL BET YOU NEVER EXERCISE EITHER. AND THOSE JEANS MAKE YOUR BUTT LOOK HUGE. HAVE A NICE DAY."
There must be some way of making that information available without making it compulsory. And really, if you're ordering a rice krispie cake, you KNOW it has a good few calories, and you've decided you can live with that today. You may not know the exact number, but it's not like you were under the impression that it was a slimming aid.
No, I'm pretty sure I don't like this. As someone who has to work quite hard at not caring that my cake has calories, I don't need that nasty nagging little voice in my head to suddenly materialise in Starbucks. Plus I think I don't like the way of thinking that's behind it..."The public are stupid and greedy. We must discourage them from eating the BAD FOOD. (But hey, they'll still buy something overpriced and full of chemicals, so we're okay)."

AnnieMcPhee said...

I agree with Meowser et al. If they're worried about health, why aren't they putting out the carb information and so forth? Or the potential allergens? At the same time, I could definitely see a majority of women *wanting* that information (calories and/or fat only) because everyone's on a freaking diet and they won't put anything in that isn't weighed and tagged. So...it's a guilt trip but I think it's one that's welcomed by many.

For what it's worth, I hate Rice Krispie treats that aren't homemade, but if you do make them yourself, they're only 116 calories per square if you cut the whole thing into 16 servings. Of course I put half a bag of chocolate chips in when I do make them (very soon now, methinks - thanks for giving me the idea!) so that'll throw the info off lol. (Actually that adds 50 calories each. But I would eat or not eat them regardless ;) )

jaed said...

70 kittens will die if you eat this.
Cute little kittens.


We can say "it's just information" and "the calorie theory is not particularly well-supported" all we want... but I'm guessing if you put that on a rice krispy bar, fewer people would eat it, and more of those who did would feel guilt and shame over it.

If they had more complete nutritional info - a list of ingredients, a carb count, allergens - I'd be less inclined to think that was the purpose at some level.

evanescent said...

some of my starbucks do, some don't. (i'm in nyc too. and on a mission to visit every starbucks in manhattan and brooklyn!) i think in preparation for the bill about listing calorie contents they began to implement it and then stopped when it got stalled in governmental workings. or they could be still slowly implementing it.

Beth said...

Yay. If more restaurants had this info available and so readily evident, maybe the overweight people would think twice before indulging. As for me, I like to know exactly how many calories are in there if I'm going to digest it. Unfortunately, I don't care most of the time when I'm just going to purge.

Charlynn said...

I'd much rather see nutritional information that just calories. The nutritional density of a food is more important in how I make my choices.

Jen said...

I'd just pick the thing I wanted to eat and ignore the information.

Eva said...

I absolutely love the idea...not having anything to do with 'dieting' but with your diet in just what you put in your body. Too many places load up say yummy veggies with grease, oil, butter or salt that they hide during cooking, and while you think you are eating a very healthy meal, you are actually packing in the 'calories' in unhealthy fats. If you see a side order or salad or snack or drink or meal, whatever, that you assume is a few hundred calories, and they have it posted at pushing 900, you're going to question what they are putting into it!

We need to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. So I'm all for having the nutritional content provided, maybe on a side menu (just like Chick-fil-a!) that you can view if you so choose, that is provided along with the choices. But if a little indication is in the number of calories, then great. It's also good if you just want a light fun snack...just to peer and think, OK, do I want to eat that 1/2 piece of cake for 400 calories, or that granola with 100. It also just makes you aware of really what you are eating and how much fat/calorie content something has you may not think about on a daily basis.

I think that people are getting to quick to assume it's to put people on diets that they aren't thinking clearly about the benefits it could have. They aren't trying to tell you not to eat it, they are just being up front about what they are serving you. If you want to indulge in it, then why not? But you can't be upset because the caloric content is posted, it just seems that people would rather be ignorant about what they are eating so that they dont' have to feel guilty about eating something high in calories. But if you are going to eat it, then there isn't anything to feel guilty about! Enjoy the food that you eat, feel guilty only if you are tunneling in the closet to pound away at an entire cake.
It seems people are just being overly sensitive and should really take a step back and see how this can have far more benefits and certainly isn't a push to get you not to eat something...if it was then they wouldn't be selling it in the first place:)

Fauve said...

Beth wrote: "If more restaurants had this info available and so readily evident, maybe the overweight people would think twice before indulging."

Yeah, well, there's nothing wrong with indulging as a treat, even for overweight people. Indulging is Not the same as bingeing (or Purging, which is a Very addictive, health-wrecking, nasty kind of thing to do to one's body). Everyone needs to factor in how Unhealthy the binge/purge cycle is, Before anyone starts obsessing on treats and how they should or should not be labeled, so as to help all the fat people. A person of Any size who knows how to indulge in a treat without bingeing or purging is a good deal healthier then those who have bulimia, even if they are thin.

Sheila said...

Yeah. I like to know ahead of time what I'm getting into. Knowing the calorie count will help me make informed decisions. (skip it, share it, save half, etc.)

Anonymous said...

I don't like calorie-counting personally at all. But I like knowing how calorically dense something is, to get a general idea (not for dieting, just for general maintenance). And even if I didn't, why would I be opposed to having more information available for those who want it?

Rachel said...

I'm for making the nutrition information of foods more readily available. While I don't necessarily agree the label card is the appropriate place nor do I believe only caloric information should be listed, I do think making such information more visible and apparent would help people learn to make healthier food choices. We suffer from an appalling lack of nutritional knowledge in this country. Information itself is neither good nor bad - it's how you use such information.

Whole Foods deli counter lists the ingredients in each of its offerings and in most of the labels on its brands of products. I really appreciate knowing what it is I am about to eat, especially since I am vegetarian. I imagine others who have similar dietary concerns also appreciate the additional information.

azusmom said...

I don't think I'm being too sensitive if I ask that nutritional information ( and that's not just calorie content) be available, like in a pamphlet on the counter, but not in my face.
I used to have an ED, and I used to feel a lot of pressure, even if it was only in my mind, to be seen eating the "right " things in public. Of course, then I'd go home, binge, then purge.
I am learning to eat intuitively. That means that if I want a treat, I can have it. Usually, I don't want it (esp. the Starbucks stuff; it just doesn't taste that good to me).
The fact is, we cannot FORCE people to take care of themselves (and that doesn't necessarily mean losing weight). They have to do it because they WANT to. I believe that part of being healthy means being able to eat a cookie without hating yourself. And too many people just can't do that with the Food Police breathing down their necks.

Fauve said...

I honestly do not think most people are suffering from lack of nutrition knowledge. Maybe the poor, but for them, other factors are an issue, such as lack of access to healthy, delicious food. For the rest of us, it's constantly harped on: veggies, fruit, whole-grains, good fats not bad ones...and on and on. I doubt that average, middle-class (let alone weathier) people do *not* know all this already. I kind of wish everyone would just shut up a little about nutrition. Michael Pollan is right, "Nutritionsim" is a problem. It's like a religion.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritionism
Aside from ideas like "nutritionism", I'm just tired of all the harping on food for health. We are getting heavier, even as we obsess about food and the value it has or does not have. Enough. I don't think it's wrong to have information available, but the information, itself, is becoming overly glorified (even as it is constantly debated: eggs are bad, no eggs are good..ect). I know I have to use care around sweets, but this does not mean I cannot enjoy them in moderation. Knowing the calorie content of the cake I just had is not important - eating the cake with enjoyment and without guilt and without bingeing or purging Or obsessing on how "naughty" I've been (for having it) Is important to me.

himawari said...

I would much rather have the ingredients listed than the number of calories, and I would like to see ingredients posted in more places. This really helps to let people know what they are really consuming, and gives an idea of how "manufactured" the food product is. I'm more torn on "nutritional information," simply because our society places so much moral value on calories (especially those coming from carbohydrates and fat). It could encourage diet talk and "should"s and "shouldn't"s in line, which would promote unhealthy behaviors and would be annoying to listen to in line. I know that when I was first trying to recover from my disorder several years back, seeing the calorie labels was very triggering. Carbohydrate information might be helpful for diabetics, though.

It's been a while since I've been to Starbucks, but don't they have "nutritional information" pamphlets available in the store, anyway? Why not put those pamphlets out in full view for anyone who is interested (with nutritional information AND ingredients) and anyone who might find the information (either ingredients or nutritional info) intrusive or triggering doesn't have to look (because, while people are saying "don't look," it's hard to not look at a card sitting right next to the product!).

Beth, why should any one segement of the population feel more reluctant to indulge? No one should feel guilty about the occasional "indulgence"; in fact, feeling guilty about it and keeping it off-limits can be far worse and lead to bingeing behaviors in people of any body size (something of which I am sure you are well aware).

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/nyregion/17calorie.html?ref=nyregion

Fauve said...

From the link: "...any chain with at least 15 outlets nationwide would have to display calorie counts on menu boards, menus or food tags."

As Meowser mentioned, this is targeting restaurant chains, not big-deal, fancy types of restaurants. Rather elitist, I think.

Rachel said...

For the rest of us, it's constantly harped on: veggies, fruit, whole-grains, good fats not bad ones...and on and on.

See? That's the problem. One day fat-free is healthy, the next day fat is in. Carbs are evil one day, and the next day are considered part of a balanced diet. Sugar is demonized for causing cancer, and then a study comes out saying artificial sweeteners are worse.

Because nutrition and the science of food is still a relatively new field, many of us rely on what is parroted in the media, which may or may not be the right advice. Fad dieting also exacerbates the problem. As a result, I think many of us do not know what is and what isn't healthy. All we know is what we've heard will help us lose weight.

Beth said...

Fauve, you sure do spend a lot of time posting on here. Just an observation. I never claimed to be healthier than overweight people, but they can probably fix their situation easier, and these nutrition facts might help them. Oh, and I know how bad bulimia is. Thanks for educating me. And in the mean time, at least I LOOK good. I said at least, so yeah I know being healthy is more important.

Beth said...

Himawari- here is why one segment of the population should be more reluctant to indulge. People who are not overweight and don't have eating issues/disorders could probably have a sbux pastry a day and not see any difference or harm from it.

Those already overweight need to be MORE aware of the calories they ingest from pastries and such. They will only become more fat and unhealthy and yes, unattractive if they constantly or daily indulge in certain calorie laden foods. At least they don't have to feign ignorance anymore when the damage is staring them in the face.

Notice I'm not saying they should NEVER indulge on special occasions or that they should become bulimic like me. I'm just being realistic here. On that note, It's hard as heck to go through the drive through and order a lowfat frap (which I enjoy) rather than their deliciously addicting pastries to binge on and purge. And don't suggest to "just order one and enjoy it" because that's like telling an alcoholic to just have one drink.

tanaudel said...

I like it, but I'd prefer it if they had e.g. a leaflet where you could pick it up. I can't judge very well the relative energy content of food and it's something I like to be aware of, vaguely. I hate it when they advertise the content as a 'good' thing - 90 calorie chocolate bars! I am constantly trying not to try to lose weight, and that flag-waving can suck me in. If it's just a statement of content, cool, thanks for the info and what I do with it is my business.

azusmom said...

Beth, part of what may be holding your recovery back is your fear of fat people. We don't like the things we fear, and, forgive me, but you seem to be a victim of our society's fat phobia ("At least I look good.")
We look at a fat person and automatically assume they're lazy and constantly stuffing themselves, which is often not true. We then think that they don't "deserve" the same things we do, whether it be a pastry or respect.
This is just my experience, but I found that when I was able to let go of my own fear of fat, my recovery really sped up.

It's just something to think about, not a criticism.

himawari said...

Beth, as a person of average size who has gone through both highly restrictive and binge eating phases (while my weight did fluctuate, it wasn't nearly as much as one would expect. I'm mostly recovered now), I do understand that "just order one" doesn't work for everyone. There are still certain foods that I generally don't keep at home for that very reason.

Not all fat people eat like pigs. In fact, most don't. When I was struggling with bingeing and restricting behaviors, I was amazing at the "restraint" that some of my fat friends who had a better relationship with food had. The truth is, though, that they weren't exercising restraint; they just ate when they were hungry and listening to their bodies, so they didn't have the same kind of desire to consume massive amounts of crap. I have friends who are much larger than me who are very conscious of nutrition and treat their bodies well. The thing is, everyone's biology is different. A larger body is not necessarily evidence of higher caloric consumption, or consumption of "bad" foods. Yes, sometimes people gain weight when they aren't treating their bodies well, but many people will never be thin, or even average. A fat person who gets thin probably will need to struggle for the rest of his or her life, because his or her metabolism will be very different than that of a naturally thing person. There have been studies that show this; e.g. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/08/healthscience/snfat.php?page=1

Furthermore, fat people are not necessarily unattractive. I know fat, thin, and average people who I would consider attractive, and not-so-attractive (in my own personal opinion; everyone has different taste). If you don't find fat people attractive, that's your own personal taste, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, no one has an obligation to enter a chronic state of self-deprivation in order to be conventionally "attractive."

Rachel said...

Beth said: And in the mean time, at least I LOOK good. I said at least, so yeah I know being healthy is more important.

Yeah, but you're ugly on the inside.

I apologize for being so cruel, Beth, but your rampant fatphobia and fat-stereotyping are equally cruel. You're young, so I'll forgive you for your ignorance on the multitude of factors that comprise body weight, but it would behoove you to educate yourself before you begin spouting off on things you clearly are uneducated about. It only makes you look petty and ignorant.

Beth said...

Himawari- I don't have a fear of fat people. I don't think I'm better than them or that they deserve less of anything than me. I only fear fat on MYSELF and think that the actual "fat" is ugly. Not the person who may carry extra weight. I am not afraid of overweight people either, only myself becoming that way. Still, I feel bad for people who eat normally, take care of themselves, exercise, and are still overweight. I don't think that's fair, but then again, I guess we were made differenly for a reason. *Note I do not like my figure/weight/how I was made* I just think I look good sometimes in clothes.

To Rachel- How would you know if I'm ugly on the inside. I don't set out to attack or hurt people like you do. This blog is to state your opinion on the subject matter, not to make personal attacks. You may have taken something I said personally, but that is your issue because i directed my comments to no one in specific. I am plenty educated and not ignorant. Your name calling just hilights your lack of character. Because you do not know me, I refuse to take anything you said personally.

himawari said...

Beth: I never said you were afraid of fat people. I completely understand the fear of getting fat oneself; that fear was a huge factor in my life for a really long time, and I think it controls a lot of women. I was basically of the mindframe that other women could be totally awesome and beautiful being fat, but any extra on me was a sign of failure (and I still struggle with that). I'm sorry to hear that you don't like your figure or your weight, and I hope that your mindframe can change someday. That's good that you like the way you look in clothes, though!

I think the only unfair thing to people who treat themselves well and are fat is that our society shuns them so much. Doctors, the media, friends, family tell them that they need to enter into a state of chronic self-deprivation and food obsession in order to achieve an arbitrary weight and thus be "healthy."

Fauve said...

Beth - at your age, I looked good, too. Take a look at people who have your disease and are in their 30s and beyond. They don't look so good. They look very old for their age - and even worse - their bodies are the bodies of old people. As for posting alot, on here, well, so what? I don't have a blog; you do, so I bet you spend alot more time online than myself. Whatever. Rachel - I see your point about true nutrition. It Is very confusing, with all the contradictory advice.

Fauve said...

Also, Beth, I get angry when people constantly lecture fat people. Everyone picks on fat people. Yet lots of women binge terribly - but smoke, starve it off or purge it off in various ways. And, because our world is so looks-oriented, these women seemingly get a "free pass". Many people do not suspect how unhealthy women like you actually are (until their disease wrecks havoc on their looks - as it will do, there is no doubt about this). Fat people are told all the time how "ugly" they are - but I can bet you, Beth, that if I saw you up close, I'd be able to see beyond your prettiness and detect the horrible drain you are putting yourself through. Your good looks have a haggard quality from your illness. You'd be alot prettier if you could stop. And, better yet, Healthier, too. I speak to you as one sufferer to another. I'm sorry for snapping at you, but I guess I am tired of fat people taking all the blame for being unhealthy in this country when we can often be healthier than all the ones who look good but are doing terrible things to themselves to look that way.

Rachel said...

What's even more incredulous Beth than your ignorance on body weight and biology is your (willful?) inability to recognize just how incredibly insulting and uneducated on this matter you really are.

Fauve said...

I took a closer look at Beth's photo, since she asserted to me, that: "at least I LOOK Good" - and I what do I see? I see a woman with a beautiful face. Absolutely. But also: collar-bones that are way too prominent, and arms that are way too emaciated. I see the look of anorexia with purging. Beth, rather than truly looking "good", you look like you have a serious illness - at least to people who are not blinded by the "thin is in" mentality.
We put so much faith in externals. Be it a young, pretty woman who has a thin body or even calorie info on food items. Lots of crappy food may have few calories, lots of good stuff (like Avocados) are high in fat, for instance. Avocados are good to eat, but I don't see any calorie listings on them, (thankfully).

drstaceyny said...

I appreciate all your comments. What I don't appreciate is the name-calling, the way we're pitting heavy women against thin, the way we're attacking one another instead of working together. Please stop this. Thanks.

Fauve said...

I don't think I've name-called. If I have, please point out where, exactly. I don't think I have pitted myself against thin women. I addressed Beth as a "fellow sufferer", for instance. I took her up on her assertation that this calorie info is particularly relevant for fat people because I do not think fat people need to be targeted. Beth, who attacked me, asserted she looks good (as a way to put me in my place); I say, quite honestly, that her illness is obvious. I could say the same about my own, however, and do: my ed has also made it's mark on my body. I don't pretend, however, that all is great because I LOOK at certain way.

Anonymous said...

F"rom the link: "...any chain with at least 15 outlets nationwide would have to display calorie counts on menu boards, menus or food tags."

As Meowser mentioned, this is targeting restaurant chains, not big-deal, fancy types of restaurants. Rather elitist, I think"
I don't think this has anything to do with elitism. It's expensive and time-consuming to reprint all your menus with the information you are supposed to include, and this makes it cost prohibitive to a small business person who owns one restaurant. The larger chains of course have a larger budget to allow for this. I personally would like to see all the nutrional value, not just the calories.
Beth is trying to share how she feels, let's try to understand and appreciate where she is coming from. Isn't this supposed to be about understanding and education?
Missicat

Rachel said...

Isn't this supposed to be about understanding and education?

I think so, which is why I see baseless and ignorant stereotyping about a sizable (no pun intended) group of people as the antithesis to "understanding and education." It's one thing to share our feelings, it's quite another to do so in such a blatantly insulting way with uneducated stereotypes.

If we ignorantly characterized and made unfounded assumptions about any other group of people, it would be considered racial profiling. It wasn't too long ago that the commonly accepted medical literature insisted that African-Americans had lower IQs and were in need of white paternalization to live civilly. And we still to a degree maintain a cultural hierarchy of races, with white as the pinnacle. How is making calling fat people unattractive and making uneducated and ignorant assumptions about them any different?

And for the record, no one - fat or thin - "looks good" when they have their head in a toilet. Not to mention the ugly little lingering side effects of bulimia, like hair loss, tooth decay, skin problems, death etc... The objection "but at least I look good" to justify bulimia seems to be bordering precariously on pro-mia.

Fauve said...

From Anonymous: "Beth is trying to share how she feels, let's try to understand and appreciate where she is coming from."

We are ALL trying to share how we feel. Beth deliberately said "at least I LOOK good" as a way of shutting down opinions she doesn't want to hear. Well. If you are going to say that overweight people need this nutritional info AND you are in the midst of your Own serious, life-threatening ed (which you then go on to justify in some manner by saying that at least you LOOK good), you can be sure I'm going to share not only what I feel but also Think about your insult to me and your justification of your illness. I am not being abusive to call Beth out on this.
Many many fat people are experts on calories, fat grams, ect. After all, they've/we've been on countless number of diets until it's time to wise up and realize that dieting causes many more problems and solves none. Hello? It Doesn't Work! So, Don't write that WE need this info and then glory in your looks when, clearly, you Look Ill. If Beth keeps on thinking she looks great, how is she going to ever understand that her ed is Not her friend, Not her buddy and Not (really) making her look good???
I wish the best for Beth, actually. I hate that young, talented women are throwing their lives away to look (as they think) good. First: you don't - not really. Second: you won't - not when you have the skin of a 65 year old, at 35 from all your self-abuse. If you get to 35, even.

Beth said...

Fauve- Really, I never said I looked "great". In fact, I look pretty bad without clothes on. I think fat makes anyone less attractive. However, I doubt that there are as many women binging out there than there are overweight women who are ignorant about calories or just don't care. Bulimic and overweight people are both being detrimental totheir bodies. Also, you ASSUME I spend time online on by blog. Acutally it hasn't been updated in MONTHS bc I know no one really cares to read about my pathetic life. I was just pointing out you spend a lot of time on THIS blog.

Rachel- I know PLENTY about biology, as a bio minior who has finished all my credits. I know that people have different metabolisms, but supposedly people who weigh the same have the same basal metabolic rate, which i don't buy. Women with eating disorders screw up and slow down their metabolisms so they feel they can't indulge, while overweight women probably have higher metabolisms, but just don't know how to take advantage of that by creating a small calorie deficit to lose weight should they want. And I guarantee you PLENTY of overweight women want to lose weight. Not everyone, or even most are happy being overweight.

So, Rachel, before you call me ignorant or "ugly on the inside" again, know that I take a lot into consideration and have different reasons for my opinions. I would argue that I'm a prettier person on the inside, and more ugly on the outside. Things like make up and clothes to camoflage fat to make me appear to "look good." I think you may not be so pretty on the inside due to your propensity for attacking others.

Dr. Stacey- I never name-called anyone. For some reason people on this blog like to attack me for my honest opinions, and I don't find that mature or acceptable.

zubeldia said...

Beth, I honestly worry for you because I really think that you're stuck with some truly devastating notions of what constitutes attractiveness. I think that this makes you terrified of fat - of your own potential to be fat. I suspect that, like for many of us, this is a strategy to make you vigilant to your own diet and behaviors. But this is very disordered. Thin does not equal attractive, and reducing youself to your body - especially in terms of your worth and attractiveness - must surely stop you from progressing in your recovery.

Look, I sympathize with you, My own anorexia is intimately connected to me wanting to distance myself from an overweight mother who projected her hate and horror of 'fat' on to me. I have really internalized some deep myths around fatness, and they affect me at a very deep level... SO many moral meanings attached to what is really just a substance.

you deserve health, beth, but I think it's going to entail that you really challenge yourself vis-a-vis your perception of eating, wellness, and size.

I hope you don't read this as an attack. I know you from various blogs and what I see is someone who is frightened. I see someone who lives their life constrained by a fear which maybe not, in the end, be warranted. What if you didn't have to live like that, hon?

himawari said...

Bulimic and overweight people are both being detrimental to their bodies.

See, my whole point was to point out that overweight people are not being detrimental to their bodies simply by being overweight. Bulimia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, anorexia are all mental disorders that include extremely harmful eating behaviors. Being overweight, or being very thin, in and of itself is not harmful. It's these eating BEHAVIORS that are harmful. You can be of totally normal weight, but be screwing up your health by chronically starving/bingeing/purging/overeating (and there are people of all weights that does these things, as well as people who don't, but who smoke, cut, etc. which are just as unhealthy), and you can be thin or fat and have a healthy body if you treat yourself well.

And we all have fat on our bodies. It's necessary to function as a human, and as women we need much more than men on average. I understand that you might not like the appearance of fat. That's fine; you're not obligated to aesthetically like or dislike anything. HOWEVER, I think the important thing to recognize is that we are all human beings with very individual set point weights, needs, and desires. Fat is just that -- fat. It doesn't really say much about how well an individual takes care of her/himself.

oscah said...

I'd rather have the option not to know- I'm trying to demand feed and nutritional information hinders rather than helps. For those who want or need it, I think brochures listing it should be made available. That way everyone's needs are met.

liz said...

On a different note, here's a fun quote from today's gawker: "But I do have a battle to fight every day I wake up, so sometimes I give off that impression. But guys, I'm at a normal, healthy weight. And If I don't watch every piece of food (and drink) that goes into my mouth and keep up a vigorous cardio and strength training regimen, I will get fat again. This might sound controversial, but sometimes I do feel like a cancer survivor in the sense that every morning when I wake up, I know that there are forces fighting my body to get back to a state of existence that, for my purposes, might as well be death." - Emily Brill
http://gawker.com/381719/the-week-the-dalai-lama-was-very-bad

foodaddict said...

I'm completely in favor of the calorie postings. They're a welcome reminder that I shouldn't be eating that kind of high-calorie, low-nutrient, refined-flour junk food...

Fauve said...

Beth - you're not fat. You are too thin. I know that your ed makes you think, both, that you are too fat And that it's also very good to be too thin. Your talk of clothes and makeup hiding your fat is part of the ed-mindset.
It's sad, these eds. I wish you the best. I really do. And also myself. We all struggle. And also, many fat people are well aware of nutritional info, as they have been on every diet and food-plan known to humankind.
In terms of this issue, I don't much care if the info is or is not included. Vegetables & fruit don't have such labels, so I don't see why people have such a crippling need for the info on other stuff. As someone else wrote, I'd rather know the ingredients than the calories or fat grams, anyway.

vesta44 said...

Well, being a fat woman who is more concerned with what I eat, rather than how many calories are in it, I don't usually look at calories (if I want to know, I can look in a book or check it out online). I'm much more concerned with carb counts on what I cook since DH is type 2 diabetic and I don't want to send his blood sugar sky-rocketing all over the place. I'm getting really good at figuring out carb counts on restaurant food without their posting nutrition information (at least in a ballpark kind of way). Personally, calorie counts aren't going to keep me from eating something I want, but there are people out there who will be triggered by crap like this, and legislators could give a rat's ass about them, as long as it looks like they're trying to do something about an obesity epi-panic that doesn't even exist.

Rachel said...

Beth - I only made that comment to demonstrate to you that your stereotypes and attacks on fat women made you appear to me and to others as petty and ignorant. You may not be ugly on the inside and are probably a generally nice person, but when you make insulting comments, how else are the insulted to react?

Instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "Lalalala I can't hear you," it might be in your benefit to stand back and recognize that your comments are hurtful and to think of a different, less insulting way to phrase them in the future. It might also behoove you to step off your intellectual pedestal and realize that there are others who are vastly more educated - both in life and academics - than you and that you could benefit from additional education.

You're young. This isn't a judgment, but an observation. I hope you continue to learn and grow as you mature, but you won't unless you recognize and admit that you don't know everything.

Stephanie said...

I don't know about my Starbucks, but my lunch cafeteria at work does, and I love it!

It makes healthy choices so much easier, and I was surprised to find out that some of the meals I chose to be 'healthy' - were not!

oxymoronicmind said...

Yay. I think it's a fantastic eye-opener.

Anonymous said...

Off topic - I have just interestedly perused your blog a bit.

Have you heard of Gok Wan? Whilst I'm not sure about every stylistic choice he makes, his programme "How to look good naked" is I think a welcome change for British women. It's a kind of make-over show, but with minimal physical intervention, and more on a mental 'love thyself' level (although still firmly body-conscious). The man himself is just lovely - some of your posters might get some benefit from his brand of confidence; most people I know certainly love him!

I believe the format has been taken up in the US, although I'm not sure it's aired there yet?