Well, two out of three isn’t bad. We’re writing about taxes and eating right. We came across an NPR story this morning about some findings of the IFIC 2012 Food & Health Survey, and had an interesting conversation about it within our family. We thought we’d share some highlights:
The NPR posting summarizes, “only one in seven Americans can correctly estimate the number of calories they need — a tricky business, we know.” It doesn’t have to be tricky! There are a number of calculators online to help you do this, including our own (estimate the calories you need, along with protein, fiber, calcium and fat). However, once you have those numbers, you need to become a nutrition label-reading ninja. If you’re making your own foods at home, this is where having a recipe with calorie information is useful. All Lunchtaker recipes have a corresponding nutrition fact card – quite helpful if you’re watching your calories and fat intake. Do you have a recipe you’re curious about? Add it to Lunchtaker and enter the ingredients: it’ll tell you what the nutrition is. Better yet, sign up and use our “Quick Submit” option and we’ll do the calculations for you. Easy.
The key premise of the post was that “almost half of us think its harder to eat right than do our taxes“. It’s interesting, but then not surprising when you really think about it. First, the government tells us how to do our taxes (even providing an “EZ” form), when to do our taxes, and if we don’t … sends someone after us! Imagine the same guidance and enforcement for nutrition. Let’s say we were (a) given unambiguous information about eating right (the tax code), (b) guidance on when to eat right (hey, all the time, not just on tax day), and (c) instant feedback on when we’re not eating right (imagine putting your donut down to answer the door for the INS (Internal Nutrition Service, not Immigration). Might be a good topic for a book, right?
Now that we’re securely in Fantasyland, we had another thought, too, about the AVAILABILITY of poor choices. What if there just weren’t any? Grocery stores would be MUCH smaller, local farms would be thriving, and strip malls would be advertising fantastic lease opportunities to replace the plethora of fast food opportunities most of us avail ourselves of daily.
The positive news from the research is that a significant percentage of people are trying to eat better. So, it may be difficult, but once you get the hang of if, it’ll be a breeze (unlike taxes). So, grab some good, whole foods for lunch today, sit back, and contemplate your healthier future!