After a long and exhausting day, sometimes all I want is to consume a cheat meal. Most of the time I crave a burger and head to the McDonald’s downtown. As I read my options and finally pick which burger I want, I slowly move my gaze to locate the price. As I do this, I see a different, larger number that I was not looking for. . . the calories. Most of the time when I see the calories, I ignore them and still place my order. My action to continue ordering my unhealthy meal is consistent with the result of a recent survey.
According to HealthDay News, beginning next May fast food restaurants that have over 20 locations will have to list the calories next to each of their menu items nationwide. This is not the first time that restaurants have had to do this. In fact, since 2010 Philadelphia restaurants have already been forced to list this information next to their menu items. The point of listing the calories next to the food is to encourage individuals to make healthier options given that the United States is infamously known as being one of the most obese nations in the world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 37 percent of U.S. adults are obese. Even more concerning is that 17 percent of U.S. teenagers are obese as well. It is likely that when teenagers are obese they will continue to live their unhealthy lifestyles as adults. Being Philadelphia is not the only major U.S. city to impose this law and the obesity rates still remain so large, Andrew Breck of NYU, along with his associates, interviewed a 1,400 consumers of fast food in Philadelphia and asked them if they noticed the calories next to menu items. The consensus of these consumers was that they did not notice it. This is concerning and in the best interest of the nation to employ different methods to hopefully empty other methods so that citizens are aware of the nutritional value of the food that they eat, but how can this be done?
I think that it would be best to perform a study and test different methods to make the nutritional information more noticeable to consumers by picking the best method. It would be best to perform a longitudinal experiment in order to track the individuals to identify if there is an improvement or decline in their health. Furthermore, a random sampling would be beneficial to this study in order to represent the population most accurately. The researchers of the study could employ different advertising techniques to see which one the participants of the study take more notice of. At the conclusion of the study, the advertising techniques utilized by the group that improves the most in health could then be taken to a larger scale. The alternative hypothesis of this study is that one of the advertising techniques will make the participants more aware of the food that they consume. On the contrary, the null hypothesis is that there will be no difference in both groups. I suspect that if this study were to occur, the alternative hypothesis would prove to be correct.
I think that it would be beneficial to the health of the nation to use better advertising techniques to assist in making the population more healthy. With this being said, it is likely that people will still continue to live their unhealthy lifestyles even if different techniques were utilized. To changes one’s lifestyle, that person must want it, it cannot be forced.