One of the many little goodies inside the new health care bill is that chain restaurants nationwide will have to start displaying calorie counts on menus. The new regulation will apply to restaurants with more than 20 locations. Health advocates hope that giving consumers calorie information will “nudge” them into lower-calorie options at the local fast food joint.
I’m not sure that is going to happen.
New York City has had a similar law on the books for a few years now. Having experienced it first-hand, I can tell you that while the calorie counts haven’t dissuaded me from eating Big Mac’s they are quite useful for figuring out which menu item gives you the biggest caloric bang for your buck. Think of these calorie counts as a useful tool for fast food value eating.
Here is a graphic Slate published a few months back illustrating the point: