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September 8 2011

Ignoring Calorie Info

Julie Gunlock

Daily Mail writer Lorraine Fisher has an amusing and totally honest explanation for why federally required calorie information (Obamacare requires calorie information to be posted in most chain restaurants) won't help a whit in the war on obesity.  Across the pond in Britain, calorie information on menus has been required for years...and that information has done nothing to improve the health of the British people. 

Responding to the news that an additional 5,000 food outlets have joined the British Government's "voluntary" Public Health Responsibility Deal (which requires posted calorie information), Fisher explains that the theory behind this effort is that people will be so horrified to find fried chicken is fattening that they'll immediately swap them for a few carrots.

Fisher doubts it will be that simple:

Well, I've got news for the Government. It won't work. Because not only do we all know the foods that are bad for us, sometimes we don't care.

What hasn't been factored in is a woman's ability to ignore the blindingly obvious in the face of cake. Or chips. Or chocolate.

We know the calories in absolutely everything off by heart. If the Mensa exam was ‘add the number of calories in a chocolate chip muffin to those in a Big Mac and divide by those in a banana', we'd all pass with flying colours (by the way, guys, the answer's nine).

She's right of course; women seem to be born with a calorie counter in their heads. But this handy counter is easily switched off upon seeing chocolate, rich pasta dishes, wine and other high-calorie foods.  There are, of course, multiple studies (all ignored by the Obama Administration) that show posted calorie and nutrition information is useless and largely ignored by consumers, but I like Fisher's common sense criticism. 

Summed up:  The government clearly thinks we're a bunch of morons if it thinks we don't know that friend chicken and chocolate cake has more calories than a salad (sans dressing, of course). 

These mandates also ignore the reality of how technology makes all this information available to us--immediately--if we want it.  Calorie information is now readily available on the Internet and through apps that can be downloaded to one's smart phone. 

But then...what would the government do if it relied on self motivation and personal responsibility.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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