Missing takeout calorie counts
VANCOUVER -- Over the past year, we’ve been eating many more meals at home, either cooking ourselves or ordering in. Food delivery apps are convenient and easy to use, but they’re missing one crucial piece of information: calorie counts. And without the facts, it can be harder to make a healthy choice.
When Karla Peralta is busy, she wants an easy way to feed her kids.
“Sometimes to just go ahead and eat at home, I’ll order takeout,” she says. “That way I don’t have to do dishes, (and) and I don’t have to find ingredients.”
And when you’re busy and hungry, that can sometimes mean an unhealthy meal. Nutrition and calorie information make healthy choices easier. Providing that information is optional for restaurants in British Columbia.
Even if they do decide to share it, the details might not make it onto the menu of third-party delivery service apps like DoorDash, UberEats and SkipTheDishes.
“As online ordering and the use of third party delivery apps exploded during the pandemic, suddenly that info isn’t as easy for consumers to find,” says Consumer Reports’ Catherine Roberts.
Uber, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes said they give restaurants control over their menu and nutrition information on their respective apps.
Nutritionist Amy Keating says it’s still possible to place a healthy takeout order even when calorie counts aren’t available.
“Skip drinks like soda that add extra calories and no nutrition, and seek out the items that feature vegetables, whole grains or beans,” she says. “And because restaurant portions are often oversized, plan to share with a family member or pack up half to eat on another day.”
With files from Consumer Reports