Menu calorie counts have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for people to make informed decisions about their food choices. However, a growing body of research suggests that these calorie counts may be dangerous for people with eating disorders.

Menu Calorie Counts Dangerous For People With Eating Disorders

The Dangers Of Menu Calorie Counts:

Calorie counts on menus can be triggering for individuals with eating disorders. Seeing the calorie content of a meal can cause anxiety, guilt, and shame, leading to disordered eating behaviors such as restricting or bingeing. For those in recovery from an eating disorder, menu calorie counts can be a major obstacle to progress. As they reinforce the idea that food is something to be feared and controlled.

The Impact On Mental Health:

The Impact On Mental Health

Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that require specialized treatment. For individuals with an eating disorder, exposure to calorie counts on menus can exacerbate anxiety and depression, leading to a worsening of symptoms. In some cases, exposure to calorie counts can even trigger a relapse.

Alternative Approaches:

There are alternative approaches that can take to promote healthy eating without triggering disordered eating behaviors. For example, restaurants can provide information on the nutritional value of their meals in a less explicit way, such as through a separate menu or website. They can also focus on promoting a balanced and varied diet, rather than fixating on calorie counts.


While menu calorie counts may be helpful for some individuals in making informed decisions about their food choices, they can be dangerous for those with eating disorders. It is important for restaurants and policymakers to consider the impact of these calorie counts on mental health. It explores alternative approaches that promote healthy eating without triggering disordered eating behaviors.

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