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Letter: Calories in Restaurant Food

I’m like many people in our county who pours over nutrition labels on all the food I buy. I want to know exactly what it is I’m eating, and more importantly, how many calories I’m consuming. As the American Heart Association will tell you, calories “in” should equal calories “out” if you want to maintain your current weight. Our diet should be equivalent to our physical activity. But if we don’t know what we’re eating, how are we to know how many laps to walk around the neighborhood?

When Suffolk County passed the law to allow us to see how many calories we’re consuming at restaurants, I was shocked at what I found out! So many items at these chain restaurants were overflowing with calories – and I had no idea that certain foods I firmly thought of as treats had actually fewer calories than other items I would purchase regularly. In one popular coffee chain, the walnut bran muffin was actually higher in calories than the rainbow cookie with baked-in chocolate candies.

I hope that Nassau County Legislators are listening to us when they vote on this policy in September! Nassau County needs this law – we deserve to know what we’re eating!

Nick Racanelli
Long Island resident
American Heart Associations Founders Board Member Chair-Elect