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PETITION: Legally require carb content to be on menus

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by TypeZero., Jun 4, 2021.

  1. JaneC

    JaneC Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As with other posters I'm totally against this petition, the poor catering industry has been through enough and as painful as it often is, we do have to take responsibility for ourselves, learn to carb count, do educated guesses and corrections.
     
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  2. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am very keen on buffet breakfasts and dinners, particularly on holidays, as I can easily select all the low carb stuff. I can't see how buffets would be possible if restaurants had to list carb content.
     
  3. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I travelled a lot in my old job and stayed overnight and ate at either the hotel or a nearby restaurant. I have asked often to have bacon and eggs in the morning. This was no problem. The hotels and restaurants have to have a breakdown of the food they are serving. I have actually seen the books and folders containing such information. The nutritional information is there. Ask to see it and ask them to cook fresh, they are so obliging. I have never been refused a fresh piece of meat, fish or salad.
    That said, the local pubs are minefields, both of my nearest pubs, have everything brought in to warm up (except the salad) in a microwave oven. The salad is already prepared and arrives in plastic bags with dressing on.
    I have to be very careful dining out, so the majority of the year, I cook fresh myself, at home. You then know for certain what carbs you are eating.
     
  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    We need to fight the Calorie mania and this petition is one way. A few years back McDonalds printed the Carb content on burger and fries packs which I relied on. They stopped doing this and just listed Cals. When I wrote to them to query the change they said they had been pressured to fall in line with listing just Calories. Anything that stops the stupid obsession with Calories I support.
     
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  5. Riva_Roxaban

    Riva_Roxaban Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Got to agree with this, although I have a good calculator on my smart phone called HIPER Calc. I still do mental arithmetic to the amazement of younger people that are flat out putting pen to paper let alone using a scientific calculator.

    As for carb counting as a T2 I do not have to do it, but I can run up a guestimate of what carbs I am eating each meal.

    I will not be signing this petition as it will put extra burden on small business.

    Edit: Clarity
     
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    #25 Riva_Roxaban, Jun 4, 2021 at 8:59 PM
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  6. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Even if it means closing all small businesses serving food?
     
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  7. Riva_Roxaban

    Riva_Roxaban Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The same thing would apply to the carb count on the menu, someone has to be employed to do it with some degree of accuracy.

    It may be alright in big restaurant / food chains that employ number crunchers because they will be able to do it economically although most probably push the prices up to cover the new expense.
     
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  8. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi TZ,

    Hope your good buddy.

    Thanks for highlighting this petition you seem passionate about. I won't be signing this petition.

    There have some realy good points made above by others reasoning why not..
    A buffet would probably require a set of weiging scales supplied at the end of the buffet service counter. Then there is probably the faff of trying to tot it all up in front of an audience? ;)
    Ordering something like a fry up at some hotels at the breakfast table can be done to specification & taste. though I dodge the beans & hash browns, I am a sucker for fried bread so I know the carb count of the average round of white..

    I feel it all comes down to experience with balancing insulin.
    But let's be fair.
    In the real world there can be other factors when things not go to plan with a precise carb count. Insulin timing, insulin sensitivity at the time of day, fats in the meal, & alcahol consumed too.

    So, I would feel it unfair putting the onus on the resteraunt or caterer in the form of further legal requirements that essentially do the carb counting for me.. Blimey, they are already taking away the cooking & washing up.. :)
     
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  9. Em16

    Em16 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hi TZ,

    I've signed and will pass it on.

    From those above who know the industry better than me, it looks like it might be impossible to pass this. I also agree that the personal responsibility here shouldn't be/can't be removed.

    However - to get it in front of parliament/to get carbs on the agenda by any means seems to me a good idea. It doesn't have to be black and white. I think it would be enormously helpful to have some form of guide/adaptations - maybe a list of all ingredients for dishes on the menu. Maybe sauces + gravies to be more often on the side. Maybe even something as simple as low/medium/high carb so that at least people are alerted to hidden/added carbs in dishes ....I'm thinking of scrambled eggs in hotels right now, which can have added carbs to make them fluffier. My family has found so many delicious foods/ways of eating that are low carb and we've also had surprises. It took me a while to work out why homemade low carb curries spiked my sugars - I hadn't thought to check the spices. Garam masala doesn't go into my dishes any more !

    If it raises the agenda and increases awareness and understanding around carbs that's got to be a good thing - especially as the incidence of diabetes is growing all the time.

    Thanks for posting!
    Em
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Draco16

    Draco16 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I signed it as anything that highlights to politicians the challenges faced by insulin dependent diabetics is good. Eating out and carb content I find a minefield. Plus timing! Is it coming in 5 minutes, 15 or 50?! (for pre-bolusing).

    But if passed it would certainly be amended to exclude small and independent establishments, which is fair enough as I agree it would be too onerous for them. We then have the choice of dining at those smaller places or not (or workarounds such as picking a regular easier dish that you stick to, or leaving some of the meal uneaten once you've reached a carb limit (having seen it, the portion size and thus carb counted after its been served), etc.

    250 employees is the limit for the pending calory labelling information in April 2022. Just use that legislation and make publication of the carb content a requirement alongside the calories (they'll obviously know the carb data already, so there is nothing extra for them to do, other than add the text to the menu).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The majority of companies that sit in this category already provide carb contents, it might not be on the menu but it’s certainly available. The thing about legislation & lobbying is they often are bringing into law something that it’s already being done to a certain degree in order to present it as new policy. A war on obesity right?! While it will most likely do no good.

    I’d take a different approach to improving diabetic life. First I would call for all T1’s to get a libra & training on prescription to mange their levels & increase access to data that allows for meaningful conversations with our health professionals. It also supports the telemedicine approach most hospitals are implementing to save time & resources on outpatient visits. Second, you could argue that a low carb diet is the best initial treatment for T2. So ditch the meds & support all T2’s with low carb diet & exercise planning with a dietician.

    Something of a pipe dream maybe but when I’ve finished my PhD I aim to work in public health, specialise in diabetes care, take everything I’ve learned & experienced to make real change.
     
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  12. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is a great thread and thanks to the OP for starting the discussion!
    I recall a Diabetes UK 'consultation' where we were asked our feelings on carb/calorie counting/traffic lights on labels and menus. Trying to convince the main diabetes charity that carbs were more important to diabetics than calories was very hard as the Calorie counters/big food are dominant in this discussion. In spite of attempts to highlight the poor quality of our health with the poor quality of our diet, the pandemic hasn't changed the status quo much.
    As a type 1 carb counting is an art and not a science so I feel this kind of solution is a bureaucracy too far. My chosen solution is to dodge the bread basket . I do not find it hard and guestimating won't cause me to die unlike those who can stop breathing if they eat a rogue peanut.
    I fear that the unintended consequence of such a measure as carb/calorie counts is to push caterers into using ever more processed foods combinations given that factories can do consistent ingredients. Food stripped of fibre with added sugar is a bad idea for everyone.
     
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  13. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    They could, if allowed legally, list 'Typical Carb' content. Many small businesses already list Cals which means testing and PHE is trying have Cals added which will be worse than adding Carbs
     
  14. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    What are you counting as a small business? I can confidently say that 90% of food businesses in my city centre are small businesses and not one does or even feasible could offer calorie counts.
     
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  15. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think calories are listed to help the obesity issue to help prevent the risk of obesity related illnesses etc.. calories in this case are there to make everyone aware of how healthy a choice is.

    where as carbs would be to target a much smaller smaller section of the population. Face it even a lot if gp’s and nurses don’t recognise the benefit of low carb yet.

    Those that need to carb count to medicate is such a small percentage.. and the T2’s that are diet only should know if the are going for a bowl of pasta it’s going to be high carb

    There are so many good apps/books etc that can give carb content of food that after a few weeks it’s easy to get a ‘good estimate’


    I think if restaurants etc had to list all the different contents of every dish considering every illness out there you’d never be able to read a menu for the amount of info provided
     
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  16. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think raising calorie awareness will do anything at all to combat obesity or other forms of metabolic disease. I think that the government and big food find the calories argument to be a convenient way of blaming individuals for their lack of portion control regardless of the fact that they go out of their way to make moderation an unrealistic goal for a majority of the population.
    Our diabetes UK group was mainly type 1 so inevitably we've all been on our carb counting courses and believe that we can use a maths equation to perfectly dose our insulin! I totally agree that this would be poetically impossible to do for the 1% of the population we represent. I don't carb count but if I wanted to as you say there's a plethora of ways to do it.
    Low carb/Real food is gaining traction so I have to remain hopeful that it will filter down and that includes for type 1 s as well.
     
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  17. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Master
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    I don’t doubt that’s the reasoning, but I don’t think it’s the right strategy at all. Low calorie doesn’t equal healthy, particularly when so much of the food labelled low calorie is ultra processed junk.

    A simple, effective strategy, which negates the need for any enforced labelling would be to promote real, fresh foods.
     
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  18. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong.. I agree it would be useful. I also agree showing calories is pointless..

    But its not something I think companies should be forced todo... I do carb count unfortunately but I've got quite good at it
     
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  19. ROE100

    ROE100 · Well-Known Member

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    I will not be signing, but appreciate the idea. Yes understand major chain can do this but you must always remember the values published are a guide, but as other have said for small business this is going to be difficult when you already have many hospitality places raising concerns in the UK about having to published the calories on the menu.

    I also hate the traffic light system in the UK re the emphasis on sugar and on the labels you have to dig to found out the carbs which is often per 100g rather than per portion. Put this continues the issue T2 have my mums friend is a T2 and is constantly telling my mum she is doing well as she will have a pasta dish which only has a few g's of sugar becuase she has been told it is sugar she needs to cut out and carbs is something she doesn't need to consider. My mum has stop discussing this issue when i pointed the issue for T2 with standard NHS advice (i'm T1). So this lady will think this detail on a menu is no benfit to her.

    I also think most people that are concern about carbs in their diet are often quite good to guage the total carbs so would this really help these people and the people that aren't bother then wouldn't be bother with the detail on the menu.

    Another point to mention is what type of carb is it some of us need to act differently when eating pizza style, or high fat, slow release (of which some people still get spikes with slow release) so know just the carbs + cals (if they go that way) doesn't actual solve the issue that we are all different and carbs in our body so we all will still have to make guesses and judgements on the meal presented to us in a restuarant.
     
    #39 ROE100, Jun 5, 2021 at 5:23 PM
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  20. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree but that’s another whole debate in itself.. from do we ban or highly tax the bad fast food

    Do we give better cooking classes at school to promote proper cooking

    I can understand a lots of the fast food with both parents working and little time etc


    I think it will come to a point where something has to be done… but what?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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