Increasing numbers of Americans are becoming more calorie-conscious as they consider the mushrooming epidemic of obesity in our country. Better diets, less intake and more exercise are definitely in order for most of us, and programs that can steer people down such paths are worthy of acceptance and practice.
The big trouble is, for the most part, that nutrition, activity and just flat-out fatness are like the weather. As Mark Twain noted, it's something people talk about a lot but don't really do anything to alter.
Understandably, there are a lot of efforts to make people more weight- and health-conscious, but there is the constant danger of going overboard. That understood, it is not surprising the New York Restaurant Association has asked a federal appeals court to block implementation of a new city requirement that some chain restaurants post calorie figures on menus.
A federal judge has refused to stop the health regulation from taking effect. He said the city requirement will help the city achieve its goal of reducing obesity. However, he did delay enforcement of the requirement so the association can appeal. Fines are not due to be imposed for noncompliance until at least June 6. That does not allow much time, and it would appear the overkill measure will stand. How needless.
The fact is, many outlets in the food business already list calories, fat and sugar content and salt levels in places where customers can clearly see them, if not directly on a printed menu. How can places such as McDonald's, Burger King and the like post calories on wall displays without having added confusion and, how do such displays help the large number of drive-through customers?
Why impose a law that forces restaurants to go to the considerable expense to display calorie-et-al counts? This is another example of Big Brother's devotion to dealing with cosmetic factors while failing to tackle the real problem.
Plain and simple: We eat too much, don't get out and about enough and are constantly gaining "poise," avoirdupois, that is. What in the world will printing calories on menus or on wall displays do to change that for the better? People know if they are too portly and they know what to do about changing that - if they will.
We can only hope restaurant associations continue to oppose calorie-laden menus and that governmental officials give people credit for having the capacity for making up their own minds about how much they eat, even if it's harmful.