As we approach the first month into 2017, some big things have come from the Ontario government (no, I am not talking about hydro rates…. or the carbon tax) I am talking about how each restaurant in Ontario must display the amount of calories in each item/meal.

A few months ago before I knew this was coming into effect, I was at my local Costco, I went to grab a hot dog for lunch and noticed that underneath each item is showed the amount of calories. For example. Ice cream showed 180 calories and the Poutine showed 900-1,200 calories. For the hot dog with drink that i was getting, it showed 150-500 calories. I thought this was just a Costco thing that they were doing to provide better awareness to their customers.

Later that week as I am driving between clients, I was listening to talk radio (I prefer it over FM radio and every so often I call in to voice my opinion on different topics) I heard the hosts talking about how on January 1 2017, it will be mandatory for food establishments that own 20 or more stores to display the caloric value for each meal. A week later a client of mine went to The Keg and also brought it to my attention. After reviewing the menu and picking her food, she said it was a eye opener about how many calories are in fact in different food items. She showed concern over the Caesar salad. She said to me that she thought she was getting the “healthy meal” but in fact it was just as high as some of the other foods.

With new rules comes controversy. People as a whole don’t like change. Before I give my personal opinion (only mine, so you may take it with a grain of salt). One of the biggest complaints about this new change is that “big brother” a.k.a the government is now telling us how we should eat and consume our foods/calories. Another negative point about having calories listed under each food item could very well be people dealing with eating disorders. For some people weight issues (regardless if it is gaining weight or losing weight) this can be a very emotional issue, thus causing stress on the individual. Not everyone cares, and they will make their choices regardless of the calorie count, and that is fine, this isn’t intended for them.

My personal opinion is that I think it is a great idea. For people who are trying to be healthy, this gives them an idea of what type of calories they are putting into their body before they do. For people who like to plan their calories, this also gives you flexibility. If you are like me and like to look at the menu before going out for lunch or dinner, this will give you time to review your choices and make a healthier (or not) decision.

In recent years, there have been a staggering reports that are suggestions how we are just an overweight and unhealthy population and it is going getting worse. Not only is the unhealthy putting a strain on our healthcare system, it also plays a significant role in people day to day living.

I think this is a great thing for people living in Ontario who want to know what is going into their bodies.

What are your thought? Good idea or bad to show calories on food items?