Here's a recent Final Jeopardy clue: Anna Freud wrote, "The infantile ego resorts to" this behavior "in order not to become aware of some painful impression." The answer? Denial, also known as the state of mind we all revert to when faced with calorie counts at our favorite fast food restaurants. Yes, it seems that New Yorkers are still ignoring posted calorie counts when ordering meals, heeding Quesarito cravings instead of rational thoughts about our health.
"Sometimes, I don't care," one unidentified New Yorker explained to NY1. "When I'm hungry, I just want to eat." The NYU School of Medicine studied how eating habits are affected by the posted calorie counts at chain restaurants, concluding that just 9% of diners used the information to make healthier choices. Even more damning, only 1/3 even saw the calorie counts at all. Conclusion: calorie markers are now equivalent to Showtime Subway Dancers for New Yorkers.
The study calls into question the effectiveness of posted calorie counts just as a nationwide policy is set to begin at chain restaurants next year. Former NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, who passed calorie laws with Mayor Bloomberg, stands by the calorie postings, saying at the bare minimum, restaurants are shamed into lowering their caloric load. "Having to put that calorie count up there is embarrassing to those restaurants, so they are cutting down on some of the sizes," he said. Maybe that will trickle down to customers, too.