It’s A Mad, Mad Menu

The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results. In keeping with previously attempted (and failed) obesity policies like food bans and restaurant zoning, ridiculous menu-labeling proposals operate under the same "You’re Too Stupid" principle that falls short of affecting fat. Repeating this futile strategy while promising better results, food cops might be better known as food nuts.

Columnist Erica Barnett lists just two of the many reasons mandatory calorie-postings won’t help:

Calories don’t tell the whole story … Nutrition is a complicated calculation that involves not just calories and fat but vitamins, protein, and minerals. Good nutrition is thus a matter of variety: no matter how many BBQ ribs you feed your kids, they aren’t going to be getting a proper diet on ‘low-calorie’ fast food alone.

Labeling, moreover, has proven ineffective at changing other hazardous behaviors, such as smoking. Every smoker knows full well that smoking causes lung cancer and emphysema — it says so right there on the label — yet smoking continues apace as consumers choose to overlook those ubiquitous warning labels.

Not only are these warning labels oversimplified and inevitably fruitless, but they also distract from bigger health issues like physical inactivity. Despite the risks associated with sedentary lifestyles, more than half of U.S. adults don’t meet activity recommendations. And almost a quarter are completely sedentary.
So many Americans are inactive — contributing to an estimated 250,000 deaths annually — that some health experts have dubbed the problem "sedentary death syndrome."

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