Monday, July 07, 2008

Altered States?

According to AMNY, New Yorkers are altering their fast food eating patterns because of the city's menu posting regs: "Two months after many New York chain restaurants began posting the number of calories in their food, customers are shying away from their calorie-laden favorites and opting for lighter fare."

Isn't it amazing how the press can discover just what they would hope to find? Would AMNY consider this a scientific survey? And where did they concentrate their efforts to gauge this phenomenon? Either at neighborhoods where the folks are more likely to get this: "Employees at Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks locations in Park Slope said they have noticed a change in their customers' eating habits, leading to a drop in the sale of pastries. Workers spoke on condition of anonymity, because they are not authorized to comment. Company officials would not discuss how the listings have impacted sales."--Or at restaurants where diet consciousness is more advanced; i.e., where the folks aren't in the forefront of the city's obesity epidemic.

What about the real targets? Here's what was discovered: "Officials at McDonald's declined to comment, but a Burger King spokesman said the company is still fighting the regulations. However, officials at the city's Department of Health said last week that the rules are final and any hopes of an appeal are futile. A federal appeals court is still reviewing the matter." So, nothing in the Hood at those Big Mac heavens.

What we find truly amazing is that a media outlet could send a reporter out on a story like this and not come back with at least one reluctant respondent. It's what we've come to expect from the DOH, but not from press that is supposed to be more skeptical. Hopefully, someone with no axe to grind will examine the impact that this social experiment has in reducing obesity among the city's low income eaters.