New York City’s Nanny State Calorie Notification Legislation is Ineffective

When presented with nutritional information regarding calories contained in food in New York City’s fast food restaurants – as required by law – 85% of consumers ignored it.  According to a study released by researchers from New York University and Yale medical professors only 56% of consumers saw the information and a paltry 15% of fast food customers used the nutritional information to make their decision.

This law is a spectacular failure on the basis of these statistics alone. However, the researchers also found that fast-food consumers actually have purchased higher calorie foods after the law when into effect than they did before the law went into effect.  This proves, once again, that the government cannot legislate behavior and that this kind of “lawmaking” is counter-productive and a waste of time.

People eat fast food because they like how it tastes and because it gives them a good value for their money.  They also like how it tastes – that’s why it’s incredibly popular – and don’t really care if it fits someone else’s definition of, “good food.”  Also, people who visit fast food joints really aren’t going there to buy grilled chicken over salad.


Legislators must think everyone thinks like they do and/or think people want to be told what they should eat.  Some things never change, like people who love fast food and elected officials who think that they exist to micromanage people’s lives.

In the current economic climate where so many people have to watch every penny they spend, a $2 double cheeseburger makes a lot more sense than any item that may cost twice as much, or more. Although given the track our government is on, perhaps the government will subsidize “healthy food choices.”

With all of the major problems our country is facing, on the local, national and international front, you would think our elected officials would have more important things to worry about.  This kind of Nanny State legislation illustrates how tone deaf elected officials can be.

1 comment
  1. Ralph Klisiewicz
    Ralph Klisiewicz
    November 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Perhaps charging higher taxes on fastfood would keep people away from them. On the other hand, give tax breaks on health foods (and other choices). This would literately be “killing two birds with one stone” as the tax money could be applied to other health prevention measures.

    Reply
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