Saturday, October 31, 2009

Counting Calories, Government Style.

The Politico reports.........."Buried deep in the House health care bill is a provision, likely to raise nanny-state hackles, requiring fast-food chains and vending machine owners to notify customers of calorie counts -- by conspicuously posting nutritional information on menus or machines.

The provision -- Section 2572 -- requires retail food establishments "part of a chain with 20 or more locations" to list calorie counts "on the menu board including a drive-through board," as is currently required in New York City and other localities.

A "vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button" that includes similar data.

Exemptions include items that will be on the menu for less than 60 days -- and limited test runs of food products."

I was just in NY, where a similar law is in effect. It works for the consumer. I said, "Wow, that's a lot of calories". I changed my mind on what I was going to order. The 20 store chain can probably deal with with mandate. They order new signs regularly in most places I have seen. As the law is written, I can see lots of bi-monthly changes at fast food restaurants. But I know I don't want the government mandating it, especially operations that are small or start-ups.