As of January 2017, all chain restaurants in Ontario with twenty or more locations must list the calorie content of their food on their menu. Although this was already a thing in America, it's new to our province and I'm not happy about it. Many of my (admittedly also female) friends agree that it's incredibly annoying. There are several reasons listing calories on menus grinds my gears.

After telling one of my friends I was writing this article, he raged at me over text about how there's nothing wrong with calories being printed on menus, so here's a disclaimer: this is only my opinion. I know there are definite pros to this movement, but while that may be true, there are also many cons.

1. It ruins a good time.

I don't go out to eat often and when I do, I'm not going so I can pick the healthiest item on the menu. I'm going so I can indulge in a likely unhealthy meal on a night out. This is a bit hard when the meal I want has to advertise that there are 800 calories in it. Buzzkill, much?

2. It's not accurate.

Calories are not an accurate way of determining how healthy the meal is. By only printing the calories, it can be hard to tell what else is in the food. Sure, some things are obvious: 500 calories of a salad is probably healthier than a 500-calorie pasta dish, but sometimes those lines get blurry and it's not so easy. Not knowing the fat content, cholesterol, sodium, or carbs makes knowing the calories almost irrelevant.

3. I don't need to or want to know.

Another simple reason is that I just don't want to know. I get that some people who need to lose weight count calories to track their daily intake and that's cool, but not everybody is doing that. Prior to this movement, all nutritional info (including fat, sodium, carbs, etc.) were provided on the restaurant's website. If there are people who need to know that info, they can go ahead and look.

4. It's actually detrimental for mental health.

Coming from someone who had an eating disorder, I completely understand how this new movement can provoke anxiety in those who suffer from similar body image issues. Having those numbers stare me in the face yet again, when I've already battled this fight, is anxiety-inducing.

I'm not the only one, either. There are tons of articles on how these numbers being printed on menus are detrimental for those suffering from eating disorders.

5. It's costly and not that effective.

Many people are concerned about how costly this change has been. Establishments have had to reprint tons of menus to make this change, and many restaurants change their menus seasonally. 

Since many dishes are crafted uniquely, it's hard to tell the exact number of calories they contain. Not to mention, dieticians themselves don't recommend counting calories as a helpful tool for weight loss. It can be helpful to have a ballpark, but it's more important to know what's in your food as opposed to just how many calories it has.

6. It's a bit useless.

Okay, call me harsh, but I have good reason for thinking that printing calories on menus is useless. This movement was initiated to lower obesity rates, but if these people didn't care about calories to begin with, how is printing calorie content on menus going to make a difference?

Similarly, if people aren't counting calories in their daily life, seeing the caloric content of their restaurant food isn't going to do much to benefit them. As I mentioned earlier, if someone is engaging in a diet or weight loss program and needs to track their calories, they can look on the restaurant's website and get a detailed nutritional label for the food.

As I said, these are just my opinions, but I know I'm not alone in this. I can't seem to ignore the numbers next to the meals and it has ended up effecting the choices I make at restaurants. Even if I really want pasta, I'll wind up ordering a salad because those numbers are daunting.

Maybe from now on, I'll just ask someone else to read the menu to me so I can go back to enjoying my restaurant experience.