Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kiss menu calories goodbye (for now)

Consumers want Calories listed on menus - that's why politicians have been pushing bills through their respective government bodies to have menu board calories become a legislated affair. In the United States there are now 16 States with similar legislation in their dockets.

A few months ago New York city became the first city to enact such a law and Big Food promptly took the city to court.

Unfortunately yesterday Big Food won the first round.

A New York city judge struck down the law stating that it broke a federal law that exempted restaurants from posting calories on menus if they were posted elsewhere (like the internet), though some writers have pointed out that the judge's decision left room for a reworking of the bill to restrict action to restaurants with 10 or more locations.

The Wall Street Journal had a quote from a McDonald's spokesman named William Whitman who of course was thrilled with the court's decision because,

"posting information like this on a menu board really runs the risk of confusing customers"
So just how stupid does McDonald's think you are that posting calories on menus will be confusing? Do you get confused each week when supermarket fliers report new sale prices? Does the half off rack at the clothing store give you seizures? Do you eat glue? Ummm, that 410 number beside the quarter pounder....does that mean it's $410? That sure seems like a lot for a burger.

Good news is, eventually calories will be posted on menus and menu boards. The will of the people, even the incredibly stupid people that McDonald's apparently thinks we all are, will eventually prevail. Reason being that as far as weight goes, eating without knowing calories is about as smart as shopping without knowing prices, and our eating without knowing calories is costing our governments dearly as they bleed weight related health care dollars.