Deal or No Deal

Working in a place of foodservice gives me some great insight into some of the food mannerisms of the average American. People in the United States emphasize the value of the dollar. This is everyday life, and we likely fail to realize how much we place value on how big our meals are with respect to how much we pay for it. It is easily reflected when you examine restaurant promotionals like “2 for $20” or “large pizza for the price of a medium!”


A common order I receive is “light ice” or “no water.” While these requests may enhance the flavor of a drink and seemingly provide you with more product for your money, are you really winning the game? One pound of fat equals roughly 3,500 calories. This means that if you consume an extra 100 calories each day of the year (100 kcal x 365 days) that your body doesn’t need, you will gain ~10 lbs each year (36,500 kcal ÷ 3,500 kcal/lb). One hundred calories don’t seem like much, but it can have a negative impact on your health if this is kept up over the years. An extra 100 kcal would roughly be the size of one piece of bread or less than half of one regular bag of M&M’s. With this in perspective, this scenario of a little bit extra could play out as easily as someone at work bringing in a sweet snack for the office to munch on.


These small mouthfuls can lead to serious, unwanted health changes. In the end, if we order something slightly altered so that we get more food/drink for the amount we are paying, are we really winning when this results in excessive weight gain and subsequent higher medical bills? Maybe that menu deal is really no deal at all.


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