Hi, would appreciate if someone could review and give me feedback on my GRE issue essay!!

The prompt:

Claim: Restaurants should be required to display nutritional information about the food they serve.

Reason: This knowledge will help diners make healthy choices and reduce their risk of diet-related health problems.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.

The Essay:

As diet-related health issues continues to grow and diversify, it becomes increasingly critical for people to have knowledge of the nutritional contents in the food they eat. Places like grocery stores solve this problem by placing nutritional labels on practically all their products, but restaurants have yet to adopt the same concept. As a customer of a restaurant, besides a brief description of a dish on the menu, one would have no knowledge of what goes into making their meal. This becomes especially imperative in cases of allergies or other dietary restrictions such as vegetarianism or veganism. Additionally, the increasing prevalence of obesity and its diet-related health issues makes it crucial for people to have the information that they can use to make healthier choices. For these reasons, it should be a requirement of restaurants to display the nutritional information of all foods that they serve or have this information ready upon request.

Food allergies are becoming increasingly popular and can often be life-threatening. Although most people are aware of the foods they’re allergic too, a common reason why people still suffer from allergy attacks, is because they are not aware that the allergen is present in the food they eat. Waiters and waitresses are required to inquire about any food allergies amongst their customers, however this information isn’t always passed along to the chef or they might not fully be aware of the presence of that food in every dish. These errors can often lead to life-threatening trips to the hospital and can be avoided by simply adding nutritional labels to the menu. These types of errors amongst restaurant staff is also critical in the case of other dietary restrictions such as vegetarianism and veganism. More people are starting to adopt lifestyle choices that restrict their diets in very different ways. Restaurant staff might not always be aware of all the different customizes someone might make to their diet. Personally, I have had an experience at a restaurant in which after telling the waiter I was vegan, I received food containing cheese because the waiter didn’t know that being vegan meant I couldn’t eat cheese.

However, nutritional information doesn’t just contain the contents of the food we eat, but also the calorific count. We currently live in a society that has the highest obesity rates that we have ever seen. This leads to all sorts of diet-related health issues such as the infamous diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. In order to combat this growing concern, people need to be given the information that will help them make healthier dietary choices. Although it might seem obvious what foods people should be eating or avoiding, even ordering a salad can be deceivingly unhealthy, containing an upwards of 1000 calories; approximately half one’s recommended daily intake. Often, restaurants add fattening products to their “healthier choices” to make them taste better sometimes making them unhealthier than the desserts. By providing the calorific information of each restaurant dish, customers will be able to make well-informed choices without the deception.

One might present the argument that by providing the nutritional information of foods with high calorific contents, restaurants could be driving away their customers and thus reducing their income. Although this might be true, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; as it might even encourage restaurants alter their dishes to become healthier and less calorific. Restaurants like “B. Good” and “Sweet green” even profit off the concept of publicizing the nutritional content of their food and marketing it as a healthy alternative. Additionally, the transparency creates more of a trusting relationship between the customer and the restaurant, causing customers to feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is in their food.

Requiring restaurants to display the nutritional information of their food would benefit both the customer and the restaurant itself. It allows customers to have knowledge of the exact contents of their meals, which is critical in cases of food allergies and diverse dietary restrictions. It also allows them to make smarter, well-informed choices that will improve their overall heath and help reduce the risk of diet-related health issues. Restaurants can even benefit from the growing popularity of healthy food, and the increasing trust of their customers. Overall, these benefits are vast and make a convincing case to adopt this requirement in restaurants all over the nation.