Friday, August 25, 2006


Ok, I admit I took some blogger license with the post title. I've got nothing against Starbucks and in fact enjoy their coffee very much.

I am however going to use them to illustrate why the visible posting of calories on food items would be helpful.

Let's take a hypothetical 45 year old 150lb woman who like most North Americans, is inactive. According to the metabolism calculator I've referred to in a prior post, she likely burns 1800 calories daily.

Like most days, she decides she's going to hit Starbucks for coffee and breakfast. Having read about the health benefits of whole grain oats she chooses the Island Oat Bar and a Caramel Frappucino (hold the whip cream).

The Island Oat Bar has 760 calories including a heart busting 8 grams of saturated fat while her frappucino has 390 calories for a grand total of 1150 calories (more calories than 2 Big Macs or 4 McDonald's Cheeseburgers) or 65% of her total daily burned calories. Small wonder she's gaining weight and small wonder when she goes to her doctor to complain, she reports, "But I really don't eat very much". The fact is, not very much of high calorie food can still lead people to high calorie intakes.

As far as I'm concerned, it's only a matter of time until there is legislation to have calories on menuboards. Until that time, the onus is on each of us to find the calories ourselves.

A great website to look up calories is

Remember you can gain weight on an all-salad diet if you eat enough salad and you can lose weight on an all ice-cream diet so long as you don't eat too much.

At the end of the day, it's the calories that count.

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  1. Once I started calorie counting it was really hard to stop because I learned early that looks could be deceiving!
    Yesterday my friend asked me to get an Island Oat bar for her and it looked so tempting I asked about it, to my surprise the girl behind the counter whipped out a binder with all the nutrition info. I wasn't too shocked to learn 1 bar has 370 calories but divided into three portions and eaten with a few berries, it makes a good snack.
    While nutrition may not be on menu boards yet, it's nice to know you can get it when you need it, atleast at starbucks.

  2. Anonymous5:48 pm

    That's a bit inaccurate, since an island oat bar has 370 calories, its a total of 760 callories, or %45 of a hypothetical women's daily intake. If she doesn't have the liquid sugar coffee, it would be even less.

  3. Island Oat bars have changed since the original post and indeed now have 370 calories.