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Nutritional Information Should Be Posted in Cafeteria



Chartwells, the Westport Public Schools’ dining contractor, holds a monopoly over food sold at Staples.

Unless students bring food from home, they are reliant upon Chartwells for their lunches.

Any company in such a position should provide its consumers with as much information— in this case, nutritional data—as possible. Chartwells has not done so to the best of its ability.

It is possible to find detailed nutritional information for Chartwells’ food after a time-consuming online search.

However, finding that information while in the cafeteria is practically impossible. Not having access to any kind of data about calorie counts — or any kind of nutritional element, for that matter — is a doing a disservice to Staples consumers.

For growing teens, it is necessary to understand what to eat and in what proportions.

That they are mostly teenagers makes that moral imperative even more pressing. Posting calorie counts works.

A study released in January by Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, which looked at calorie-posting Starbucks locations, suggested that “for those consumers who averaged more than 250 calories per transaction, calories per transaction fell by 26 percent.”

Moreover, the study claimed that “even a small benefit from calorie posting would exceed the low cost of posting, making it a worthwhile policy.”

In Staples’ case, the potential benefits far outweigh the costs.

Sixty-two percent of students polled by this paper agree.

However, there are potential pitfalls to only posting calorie counts; students may become self-conscious about what they eat, effectively defeating the purpose of posting anything.

As such, Chartwells should also post other daily nutritional facts alongside their meals. A healthy eating routine begins by balancing every element of one’s diet.

Operating a dining franchise is an enormous responsibility. Ensuring the health of students should always be Chartwells’ first priority.

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