Problems in society are rarely solved by Washington bureaucrats yet they seem to have taken the adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ to heart. Accordingly, the government is addressing the nation’s growing obesity epidemic with a regulation: Section 4205, the menu labeling provision attached to ObamaCare meant to “aid consumers in selecting more healthful diets.” As currently written, however, the regulation will likely have job-killing effects and result in little, if any, significant reductions in obesity rates and/or improved health.
The provision requires chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, including franchises and perhaps some grocery stores, to post calorie information for all products on in-store menu boards. According to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), a national standard was supported by the restaurant industry as a way to “preempt the patchwork of various state and municipal menu labeling laws.” The rules designed by the FDA, however, eschew more common sense approaches to implementing the law. The American Pizza Community, a coalition of pizza franchises, and FMI, the association representing America’s grocery stores, are cognizant of the effects the regulation will have on the industries they represent and thus, have advanced a legislative solution: the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.