New law maybe..?

i have been thinking about this for a while now..i know there are a lot of new proposed laws going on with a new name change for type 1 but I got an idea on a law that could DEF benefit us type 1's. I think every restaurant and I mean EVERY restaurant should have accurate nutritional information. I know going out to eat is not always the best option but why should we have guesstimate how many carbs are in this pasta from Olive Garden..I think it significantly would help us with better glucose control and I know a lot of places do have information but when you ask them for it they seem confused and it takes like 20min to get an answer..if this was commonplace knowledge posted so every1 could get it that would be great. Every store should have the nutritional information readily available!!

I think there is an app for that? haha But I agree, restaurants should supply us with nutritional information, rather than using our own time to figure it out/ask around/research beforehand. With all of the healthcare reform taking place and the growing obesity epidemic, your hopes may not be too far away!

a lot of places, specially the smaller family owned business, can't afford the thousands of dollars it costs to find out the nutritional information in every single dish they serve. i think a law like that would put a LOT of restaurants out of business. I for one, am against a law like that.

i don't know about stores, but it took a local grocery chain about 20years to get that information on their baked goods (and not even all of them) and their deli foods. The problem is, not everything in the bakery and deli is actually the exact same, so the information is STILL just an estimate.

When I worked in the bakery, while we of course strive for everything to turn out the same, sometimes one of the pies ended up having a bit more filling, or one of the pound cakes was a little larger than the rest. Nothing, unless mass produced with a machine is going to be 100% the same, every time.

It's the same with food at a restaurant. They may give you a bit tad more rice, or a tad more mashed potato as they are doing it all by eye. So even if they have that information it'll vary, even just slightly, each time they made this or that.

I don't mind estimating, I do it at home when I make food myself that isn't packaged with information on the back or is from a recipe that doesn't give that information (as most I've come across do, and the ones that do..are mostly estimates)

with healthcare reform, chain restaurants HAVE to provide nutritional info for all their regular menu items by 2014. if you ask around, a lot of them already provide the nutritional information, such as olive garden - which is what you mentioned. 

as long as i have the ingredient list, amount of ingredients, and # servings per batch, i can figure out nutritional info fairly easily. it's not actually all that difficult. you just have to add everything together, then divide it by the number of servings. 

at the hospital i interned at, i had to do a 7 day menu with 2 snacks & 15 special diet alternatives. it took me 6 weeks to come up with the complete nutritional information for that 7 days (which was 21 meals). 

I kind of started a big fight the last time this was addressed on this website, so I will try not to do the same this time. While I understand the frustration in going out to grab a bite to eat and having to guesstimate carbs and such in the food we order, I would not go as far as to say that restaurants should have to post nutritional information. I think a big problem comes in money and drawing a line between small buisnesses and chain restaurants. The first thing to address is the enormous amount of money it requires to get these tests done. They are not cheap, and as Batts said, it would put most small family owned businesses out. I cannot support a law that would force out small restaurants just because they lack the resources to complete expensive tests. On the other hand, large chain restaurants, and you mention Olive Garden, should absolutely  have to release nutritional information. I believe that a law had just passed that requires nation-wide chains to post information. Now though, comes the real problem. Where do we draw the line between small main street family owned businesses, and large chains? When do you start to force these laws onto restaurants? And perhaps most importantly, what kind of impact will this law have on the expansion of small businesses?

[quote user="Dan"]

Where do we draw the line between small main street family owned businesses, and large chains? When do you start to force these laws onto restaurants? And perhaps most importantly, what kind of impact will this law have on the expansion of small businesses?


(Info according to the new Healthcare Reform Law) A chain restaurant is defined as a business having 20 or more locations. Even though the new law is in effect now, businesses have until 2014 to be in full compliance. Small businesses will still be able to expand without having to provide nutritional information, as long as they stay below 20 locations. There are quite a few "family owned" businesses and restaurants that will not have to comply with the Healthcare Reform Law. 

As I mentioned, gathering nutritional information for an entree is really not all that difficult. Businesses can temporarily hire a dietitian on a contract basis to figure the information for their recipes. In order to save money on food costs and labor costs, businesses use standardized recipes - meaning each time the recipe is made, the outcome and number of servings is exactly the same. This prevents waste and variation in flavor, which keep prices low and customers happy. Nutrition information for standardized recipes only have to be figured once because the end result will never vary. In less than 10 minutes, nutrition information can be figured for a single recipe.

So, again, if time/money are an issue for determining nutritional information, it's because the business isn't doing it right. If I can do 21 meals + 15 alternatives for each meal (which equals 315 meals total) in 6 weeks, they can easily calculate their entire menu in less than a month. 


I've had similar frustrations, especially when we were first dealing with carb counting and still learning. For awhile we pretty much just ate at home or at chain restaurants. However, especially with a kid, even having the nutritional information isn't going to guarantee you figure it out right. Last night we went to Chevy's and Sarah picked about 200 carbs worth of food (fajitas with tortillas, chips, ice cream...). I figured the primary carbs were in the tortillas, beans and rice, and I knew she'd eat 2 tortillas and guessed about 1/2 the rice and beans. We did a combo bolus for 90 carbs. Anyway, even knowing all that, she still ended up in the high 200's later.

Quite often now we do go to smaller restaurants that don't provide nutritional information, and I use an online application to guestimate the carbs. Lasanga is lasanga, so if we're having it I'm more concerned about making sure the weight is reasonable than the carbs being for that exact recipe.

I think chain restaurants should absolutely have to provide this - one that currently doesn't (and it drives me up a wall because I'm pretty sure it's required in California) is International House of Pancakes. Every time I ask for nutritional information they point me to the place on the menu that provides calories - so not helpful!