Ask the Chefs

After the big lobbying efforts to get calories posted on menus, I found it surprising that no one had asked the chefs for their comments. However, some thoughtful researchers decided to survey chefs to learn how they felt about the recent policies for reducing the number of calories on their menus. The chefs were surveyed during US culinary meetings where they met to discuss how to introduce healthier, low-calorie foods to their customers. Of the 432 chefs who were surveyed “93% thought that the calories in menu items could be reduced by 10–25% without customers noticing.” The researchers learned that the chef’s main strategy would be to reduce the number of calories and not serve smaller portions. They also learned that the chef’s were mostly concerned that their customers wouldn’t order food that was reduced in calories because it may not taste as good.

Source: Julie E. Obbagy, Margaret D. Condrasky, Liane S. Roe, Julia L. Sharp and Barbara J. Rolls. Chefs' Opinions About Reducing the Calorie Content of Menu Items in Restaurants. Obesity 19, 332-337 (February 2011) | doi:10.1038/oby.2010.188