Menu Labeling Meltdown

Last week, the food cop campaign to plaster our nation’s menus with warning labels suffered a major blow. University of Alabama researcher and Obesity Society president-elect Dr. David B. Allison presented expert testimony to the U.S. District Court against mandatory menu labeling. The evidence was damning. Over the weekend, Allison explained in The New York Times that he wasn’t taking sides in the fight, but merely laying out the facts. And the facts show that “labeling might deter over-eating but might not and, in fact, might be harmful.”
Chock full of scientific studies, Allison’s 43-page affidavit demonstrates two key points:

There is no credible evidence that calorie displays on menus would affect consumer choice (or obesity).

There is evidence to suggest “the new rules could backfire—whether by adding to the forbidden-fruit allure of high-calorie foods or by sending patrons away hungry enough that they will later gorge themselves even more.”

As expected, the usual cabal of nutrition nannies was less than happy.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden responded to Allison’s testimony, acknowledging that “we don’t have 100 percent proof that it’s going to work.” (In truth, menu labeling advocates don’t have any proof.)
With no proof to support their outlandish claims, how can nutrition activists justify the imposed costs and possible unintended consequences of menu labeling? The bottom line is simple: They can’t.

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