Monday, January 21, 2008

Fat Chance

Unable to simply take no for an answer, the NYC DOH is back tomorrow to try to create regulations to mandate calorie posting at city fast food chains. As the NY Post writes this morning: "The first-in-the-nation rule would mandate restaurants with more than 15 locations print complete calorie information for all items on their menus. The restaurant lobby has battled the proposal."

Now we have written about how we feel about this before; there is simply no reason to believe that the Department's efforts will do any good, and the costs to local entrepreneurs will certainly be steep. Yet Health Commissioner Frieden sees it this way: "It is unfortunate that we are at the point that the restaurant industry, or parts of it, are so ashamed of what they are serving that they'd rather go to court than put [the information] where people would actually see it."

In our view, it is the reluctance of the industry to put disinformation where people can be mislead that underlies industry reluctance; since calorie information on a fast food menu that is mix-and-match with various items will only create confusion-and that's for the folks who actually understand what the calories really mean. In the end, we believe that the courts will knock this reg out as it did the first one that the city tried to implement last year.