Looks like everyone ranting and raving that Americans' eating out habits are contributing to the obesity epidemic might have to start to simmer down a bit ... Not only have restaurants started offering healthier menu items, but The Wall Street Journal reports that patrons are actually eating 'em up! (Hee hee.)
That's right -- we're not all gorging ourselves on deep-fried double bacon cheddar burgers and XXXL fries. A lot of people are ordering lower-fat, calorie-conscious options when they go out to eat, and restaurants are starting to realize that they better start keeping up with the demand for those options -- or else lose out on big bucks ... Awesome!
And there are numbers to make the case for healthy eating: Sales were up 5.5 percent between 2006-2001 at restaurants that bumped up their healthy menu choices and down by 5.5 percent at those that didn't. And this was true for both fast-food and sit-down restaurants.
Sounds like the best thing to ever happen to the restaurant biz. Oh, sure, I'm sure there will be some grumbling from those in the food industry ("Healthier, fresher food costs more to buy and prepare, wah!") and restaurant-goers ("But I don't wanna eat a salad, wah!") alike. But ultimately, increasing popularity for healthier foods is good for everyone.
Over 10 years ago, when I did Weight Watchers for the first time, the company made a BIG FREAKIN' DEAL out of eating out. You had to arm yourself with guidebooks and lots of Internet research before braving a restaurant. Because who the heck knows what options -- or total lack of options you might have to contend with?
But now, maybe we're finally entering an era in which all that worry can go out the window. Walking into a restaurant and having little or nothing healthy to choose from is become a rarer occasion. And this is good news not just for someone watching their weight, but everyone who is even remotely health-conscious (which should be all of us ...). More and more, we'll be able to pick from dishes that are low-fat, calorie-controlled, heart-friendly, or even sustainable and organic! Okay, maybe those last couple may be pushing it a bit, but a girl can dream ...
At any rate, this is real progress, people ... and it sounds delicious to me!
How do you feel about restaurants being pressured to carry healthier items, post calorie counts, etc.? Are you a fan of this trend?