Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eating for Health

I just watched a man down lunch at Burger Prince. I guessed he was 6 foot and about 250# based on gross comparison with my own frame. He ordered a meal while I was behind him on line (I got a diet soda to help down my vitamin pack). He ordered 3 items including a triple whopping burger, a large potato fry and a large brown soda. Being in health care and being very curious about and actively seeking information on nutrition and health, I looked up his meal to calculate his intake.

Besides the incredibly high amount of salt, his meal was over 2000 calories. I'm currently on a program that allows 1500 cals for the whole day and he downed more in one setting. His triple burger alone was worth 1250 calories all by itself.

So I started a conversation with him about his company (insignia on his jacket) and introduced myself. His company is locally famous and I was fascinated with their success, policies and such. I wanted to know more (really). Somehow I got him interested in me in some meaningless way and he asked me to join him while he finished off his voracious attack.

The niceties of what we did, our holidays and New Year's progressed to resolutions. He told me he wanted to lose weight and get into the gym. Shocking, right? So when I noted to him that my diet soda was part of a larger plan (and caffeine injection) and a goal of 10 pound weight loss, he was interested. His face turned to stone when I told him about his now almost finished ingestion of over 2000 calories and such, and I didn't even include the 6 ketchup packs (filled with sugar) he doused his fries with.

We are just used to big everything and think it less value if we don't get it. And when we get it, we convince ourselves we have to eat it. Now at the price per calorie his meal was an incredible value, but to what end? I made a friend and potentially a future patient today, but I know he's going to think twice before he stops for that "value meal" again. At least that is my prevention hope. I'm confident though that the drive-thru will lure some unsuspecting traveler another day.

Job security, even if nobody can pay for the work. Except perhaps the very profitable Burger Prince.