by Andrea LaMarre, MSc.
Over the past week I have been asked, more times than I can count: “What are you making such a big fuss about?” This question has come on the heels of a recent change in legislation in my home province of Ontario that has made it law for restaurants with over 20 locations to include calorie counts on their menus. These calorie counts are abstracted from all other nutritional information, and they must be as large as the price of the item.
In early December, I was approached by a number of others from within the eating disorder research, advocacy and prevention community who suggested that I start a petition to have this legislation repealed. Alarmed that the legislation was to come into effect, presumably without consultation from the eating disorders community, I did so. Just after Christmas, after approximately 400 people had signed the petition, I started to receive media requests – dozens of media requests. Suddenly I found myself with the interesting task of providing the kind of sound bite for an article that would make people at least pause for thought around this new item on the menu.