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Final Word: All you can eat is rarely a healthy meal option

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I have bad news: for the rest of the summer, you can eat basically all you want at TGI Fridays.

Appetizers, that is.

The restaurant chain has instituted an unlimited-appetizers plan. Choose an appetizer from the list of favorites (yes, that includes the potato skins,) boneless wings, and mozzarella sticks and get unlimited refills.

Sharing is officially discouraged, but the chain said its servers "aren't policemen" so in actuality, you can bring eight friends for all the wings you can throw down. You should probably bring all the friends you have, too, because this will be the undoing of that better eating plan you had been meaning to begin.

That's what I mean about bad news. We in America cannot handle the responsibility of free food.

We will ride this free-refills train right into the ground and we won't think twice because of all the potato skins we got for $12.99.

I know, there are some people who can walk by the office party where they are serving cake and say no thanks, but there are too many Americans who can't.

Those Americans should probably avoid TGIF til October.

The amount of sugar and fat in the typical restaurant meal is already in the danger zone, so if we upsize our appetizers, we are clearly headed for trouble.

Friday's tried this plan out in Cincinnati a few months ago and managers there said few people took advantage of the promotion by sharing or over-ordering. But sales at the restaurant went up nearly double digits.

I rest my case.

This might seem like an oversimplification, (OK, it's CLEARLY pretty simple, but ...) all-you-can-eat policies often lead to people eating all they can.

And that's the last thing we need.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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