I read the recent article about the FDA’s new calorie-count labels with mixed feelings. On one hand, nutrition information can be valuable if it’s treated as that – information.

My concern is this may encourage even more focus on calorie counting, an approach that has not been proven to help people lose weight and maintain that loss over a significant period.

Our society has focused on diets and calorie counting for decades, with little to show for it.

As a facilitator for the “Am I Hungry?” mindful eating program (www.AmIHungry.com), I have always appreciated the approach suggested by the creator of the program, Dr. Michelle May: Nutrition information is a tool, not a weapon.

I hope people will approach these new labels in that light, rather than thinking, “Oh, it’s only a few calories so it’s OK if I eat it.”

If they’re not hungry and don’t need the food, their body will store the excess anyway.

Finding a balance between internal cues and external information has, for me, been the best way to achieve a healthy relationship to food.

Erica L. Bartlett

Portland