I’m happy to see that the Washington Post is finally coming around and admitting that calorie information on menus does nothing to sway consumer choice.
Evidence is mounting that calorie labels – promoted by some nutritionists and the restaurant industry to help stem the obesity crisis – do not steer most people to lower-calorie foods. Eating habits rarely change, according to several studies. Perversely, some diners see the labels yet consume more calories than usual. People who use the labels often don’t need to. (Meaning: They are thin.)
Yes, it’s heartening to finally see this reported. I’ve been beating this drum for years–pointing out the various studies that show these regulatory mesure are a waste of time and money for the food industry. And I’m glad a mainstream media outlet like the Post is reporting it too.
But, will it matter? As I’ve written before, the White House is determined to further regulate food manufacterers, grocery stores, restaurants, vending machines, etc. And they’ve already managed a regulatory victory with the inclusion of a provision in the Obamacare bill that requires chain restaurants and vending machines to post calorie information on every item served.
In defense of this measure, the President’s Obesity Task Force cited a tiny study conducted in one subway sandwich store on only 292 participants, the vast majority of whom where adult white males who admitted they were currently dieting. This isn’t exactly research upon which major policy decisions should be based.
How convenient that the task force missed the multiple other studies conducted at some of America’s best Universities that showed calorie infomraiton had zero impact on people’s food choices. Oh sure, it’s totally understandable. I mean, who’s ever heard of Duke, NYU, and Yale–each of which has conducted major studies on calorie labelling.
Will the Administration continue to ignore the evidence? Probably.