Another ObamaCare mandate we had to discover after its passage

posted at 12:00 pm on March 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nancy Pelosi told the public that we’d have to pass ObamaCare to find out all of the surprises Democrats had loaded into it.  Since its passage, we’ve discovered a number of them, including the elimination of a tax credit that kept seniors on private medication coverage that has forced publicly-held corporations like AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, and Verizon to take massive charges against this year’s earnings.  Earlier this week, the Associated Press discovered a new mandate, this time on chain restaurants, that is at once petty, paternalistic, and anti-growth:

A requirement tucked into the nation’s massive health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama was expected to sign the health care legislation Tuesday.

The idea is to make sure that customers process the calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or on their Web site. The new law will make calories immediately available for most items.

“The nutrition information is right on the menu or menu board next to the name of the menu item, rather than in a pamphlet or in tiny print on a poster, so that consumers can see it when they are making ordering decisions,” says Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who wrote the provision.

What’s wrong with getting calorie counts?  Nothing, really.  As a Type II diabetic myself, it helps to know calories and carbs when planning meals or medication responses.  A friend of mine, Col. Joe Repya, gave me a handy wallet-sized card shortly after my diagnosis that allows me to estimate carbs and calories while at home or away, and plenty of other resources exist for the same purpose, many of them on the Internet.

In fact, many chain restaurants already provide this information to consumers on the Internet.  Just to take one example: Chili’s.  Their website features a prominent link to the nutritional information for their standard menu items.  That’s how I know that their Oldtimer burger is 1260 calories, including the fries, the lowest-calorie burger dinner they offer.  The Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger w/ Jalapeno Ranch dinner comes in at a whopping 2,130 calories.

But let’s be serious.  No one who’s seriously concerned about caloric intake is going to order the gigantic Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger w/ Jalapeno Ranch dinner.  Most people have the common sense to know that big burgers and whopping mounds of fries will total a huge number of calories, no matter where one buys or makes dinner.  Responsible adults can navigate a menu on their own to choose the healthier options, if they want to do so, without forcing restauranteurs to conduct the kind of lab analyses necessary to give accurate calorie counts for menus.

The impact on businesses will be disproportionate to their size.  Large restaurant chains with standardized menus can handle this mandate less expensively per dinner sold, thanks to the economies of scale, which is why Chili’s has the information on their national website.  Chains under 20 locations will get exempt.  But what about those chains with just over 20 locations?

Davanni’s, a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to comply with this mandate.  A caller to my Saturday show (who wished to remain anonymous) told my radio partner Mitch Berg during a commercial break that it will cost Davanni’s approximately $200,000 to comply with the new mandate — just to start.  Every menu change will require Davanni’s to have the new or modified items re-analyzed, which means that Davanni’s will probably resist adding new options for their customers.  Meanwhile, larger chains with more economy of scale for such efforts such as Pizza Hut can do the tests once for all of their locations, keeping their prices lower for their customers — which they already do, thanks to consumer demand for the information.

Under those circumstances, will Davanni’s feel compelled to keep the extra three locations open, or to scale back to 19 to avoid the mandate?  Even if they do keep all of their locations, that $200,000 will now get spent on something other than new jobs for teenagers and adults, and customers will pay higher prices for their food.  Local and regional chains with 15-19 locations have a big economic disincentive to expand any further. I don’t know much about Davanni’s bottom line, but I’m pretty sure that even though they make some of the best pizza and hoagies in the area, they don’t have $200,000 lying around the pizza sauce to blow on lab analyses this year, or any other.

This is a fundamentally anti-growth policy — and in service of what?  A federal mandate to treat adults like children, as though someone buying a pizza might be under the delusion that they’re ordering health food.  That’s not even considering the question of jurisdiction on chains like Davanni’s which don’t cross state lines, and therefore shouldn’t have to answer to federal regulators at all.     This is a textbook case of elitist snobbery trumping common sense, where the governing elite just assumes that Americans can’t decide for themselves what foods to eat.

When considering this, it reminded me of the classic Monty Python sketch “Crunchy Frog.”  Here’s the clean version:


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As a Type II diabetic myself, it helps to know calories and carbs when planning meals or medication responses

Welcome to the party, pal !!

Jerome Horwitz on March 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I am much more concerned about $12,699,575,000,000 +++ in debt(did I get all the decimal places in there?), than I am about a few thousand calories in my bacon cheese Whattaburger.

Every time Obama makes a speach or gets on TV he should have to have the national debt clock along the bottom of the screen or mounted to the podium.

bitsy on March 28, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The new excise tax on medical equipment or supplies is going to adversely affect diabetics to a greater extent than calorie counts on menus.

Dhuka on March 28, 2010 at 5:16 PM

This headline now appearing on AP/Yahoo! News:

Health overhaul likely to strain doctor shortage

Some weekend dope at AP is about to get fired. Headline should have been: “Health Bill Will Aid Primary Care Physicians to Enlarge Patient Base.”

Someone didn’t read the memo.

ObjectionSustained on March 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

.. a food fight?
Americannodash on March 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

PRICELESS! I’m stealin’ that !!
.
Gonna enjoy seeing some chain putting up a sign sticker:
All menu items are 3,500 calories or less

/.

CaveatEmpty on March 28, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Processed carbs are what people should be avoiding.

spec_ops_mateo on March 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Davinni’s a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to comply with this mandate.

No, the owner will close 3 locations and avoid the mandate.

Stimulus!!!

labrat on March 28, 2010 at 6:09 PM

More BS from this bill. And lots more to come. He ain`t heavy, he`s my Big Brother . . . .

I despise all of the leftists who rammed this thing up our collective arses and the nitwits who still support Obarma.

I don`t need no freakin` calorie count for everything I eat.

Does Pelosi count all the calories from the liquor she drinks on our dime?

Those are the calories we need to cut.

Its Washington its so fat.

Let`s cut that fat first!

Sherman1864 on March 28, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Processed carbs are what people should be avoiding.

spec_ops_mateo on March 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Thanks Dad

CWforFreedom on March 28, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Ed

Will these rules apply to our nation’s public schools ? or do they get an exemption ?

Talk about calories and crap foods. This is where they learn their eating habits, Have you ever seen so many fat, overweight kids as today’s generation ?

woogs on March 28, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Well, at least “parents” won’t be able to sue restaurants for “making” their kids fat anymore, right?

funky chicken on March 28, 2010 at 6:32 PM

in the HR 3590 Bill, pages starting at 1206 is relevant. This link has a link to the pdf. Click on the HR 3590 link in the text. A quick search for the work “calorie” should bring it up right away. Another interesting note also starts on page 1211. If I’m reading this correctly, this also applies to vending machine businesses that have 20 or more vending machines also. Unless I’m misunderstanding, this may effectively remove the mom and pop type homemade subs and sandwiches from general factory and other work place environments.

disillusioned on March 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Processed carbs are what people should be avoiding.

spec_ops_mateo on March 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Personally I avoid cooked carrots and creamed spinach. Don’t see how anyone could eat that stuff tastes so awful it couldn’t be good for you.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Did it ever occur to anyone that what you eat, how you exercise… what you drink, what you inhale….. is YOUR responsibility? Whatever health issues we all have is our problem…. not the restaurants, the air, or environment…. but us. Leave restaurants, bars, VFW posts, fast food palaces out of the mix….. Suck it up, you stinking left wing pieces of crap and health Nazis and take care of your own house. IMHO, of course.

MNDavenotPC on March 28, 2010 at 7:17 PM

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama was expected to sign the health care legislation Tuesday.

More like supersizing those laws. More anti-business crap in the wake of the “hard pivot” to jobs the filthy lying dicator proclaimed in December.

highhopes on March 28, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Did it ever occur to anyone that what you eat, how you exercise… what you drink, what you inhale….. is YOUR responsibility?

MNDavenotPC on March 28, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Killing babies is the only thing meant by pro-choice. Otherwise government is supposed to protect you from yourself.

highhopes on March 28, 2010 at 7:47 PM

I feel like ordering a Double Bacon Cheez-Whiz Mayo Triple Burger on a big fat white bun with a super-sized order of fries and a huge chocolate shake. Maybe some coleslaw with a wheat germ chaser.

Sloan Morganstern on March 28, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Next we’ll all be put on a 1000/day calorie diet with the Food Cops checking our frig and our trash. We’ll all be so undernourished we won’t be able to resist.

Sloan Morganstern on March 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

But don’t get me started….

Sloan Morganstern on March 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

disillusioned on March 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM

They like the number 20. 20 Restaurants/20 vending machines and you have to show the calorie count.

I believe it has been law in Illinois for at least a couple of years that any vending machines in schools must be turned off during the day, and that juice or water must be an option in vending machines that offer drinks in school settings. In fact I don’t know if they can sell soda in vending machines at school anymore except in the teachers’lounges.

And I think that was a Blago/Daley initiative.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM

It looks like the Illinois vending machine in school ban was defeated from my quick search but I know that many of the schools where I have went for swim meets have signs by the vending machines (if you can find them) that they are off during the day.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 8:23 PM

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, supersedingsupersizing a growing number of state and city laws.

Mmm-mmm-mmm.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Next we’ll all be put on a 1000/day calorie diet with the Food Cops checking our frig and our trash. We’ll all be so undernourished we won’t be able to resist.

Sloan Morganstern on March 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

I will. I’ll change my name to Hannibal, order a couple of cases of chianti and start growing fava beans in the back yard. Mmmmmm…food cops and, of course, census workers.

Oldnuke on March 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Control banks, run car companies, redefine contracts, define insurance, limit CO2 emissions….is there anything our federal government cannot do?

iconoclast on March 28, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Proposed Amendments. Comment:

Amendment 28 – Senatorial and Representative Term Limits

1. No person shall be elected Senator in Congress more than twice, and no person who has held the office of Senator, or acted as Senator, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected Senator shall be elected to the office of the Senator more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of Senator, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Senator, or acting as Senator, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of Senator or acting as Senator during the remainder of such term.

2. No person shall be elected Representative in Congress more than six times. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of Representative, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Representative during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of Representative or acting as Representative during the remainder of such term.

2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Amendment 29 – Prohibition of Unfunded Mandates and Contingent Funding

1. Congress shall make no laws compelling states to raise revenues in compliance therewith, nor appropriate funds contingent on the passage of any legislation by the legislature of the receiving State, except where such legislation respects the national defense.

2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

Amendment 30 – Restriction on Federal Spending, Deficits, National Debt

1. Congress shall appropriate, during any fiscal year, no more than an amount equal to one-fourth of the gross domestic product of the United States as measured for the previous fiscal year, except in times of war or disaster, during which Congress shall appropriate no more than an amount equal to one-third of the gross domestic product.

2. The budgetary deficit of the United States, during any fiscal year, shall not exceed ten percent of the gross domestic product as measured for the previous fiscal year, except in times of war or disaster, during which the budgetary deficit of the United States shall not exceed twenty percent of the gross domestic product.

3. All funding in excess of the the budgetary obligations of the United States shall be directed toward the outstanding national debt of the United States, except where no outstanding debt exists, in which case, such funds shall be returned to the people of the United States in proportion to their net taxable earnings of the previous tax year.

4. The national debt of the United States, as calculated by the Treasury, shall not exceed seventy percent of the gross domestic product of the United States as measured for the previous fiscal year, except in times of war or disaster, during which the national debt shall not exceed the gross domestic product of the United States.

5. No foreign Nation shall acquire in excess of ten percent of the national debt of the United States and no foreign person or corporation in excess of five percent. The Treasury shall keep particular account of the current holdings of foreign Nations, persons, and corporations with holdings in excess of one-half of one percent of the national debt and report these figures to Congress at the start of each fiscal year.

6. Upon ratification of this Article as an amendment to the Constitution by three-fourths of the legislatures of the several States, Congress shall amend, within one year of its ratification, any legislation not compliant therewith. If, within one year of the ratification of this Article, any Law fails to comply therewith, such Law shall be repealed and no funds thereby appropriated shall be disbursed from the Treasury of the United States.

7. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

andy85719 on March 28, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Health Nazis, Food Nazis, Climate Nazis, Green Nazis; they are all the same thing – Nazis.

DL13 on March 28, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Well, I’m going to find the local health and human services office and beginning eating a big mac there on a regular basis.

and if that office is typical of most government offices, no matter how many big macs i eat; i’ll still look in better health than most employees there.

skicougar on March 28, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I knoew this long ago … It’s the big cow’s doing.

tarpon on March 28, 2010 at 9:32 PM

This is insanity. If I choose to eat at McDonald’s tomorrow, it’s because I want a dang hamburger and I’m not really interested in counting calories and fat grams that day. Don’t we all have days like these? Granted, some of us have more than others, but I would submit that except for a very small minority of people who have perhaps been living under a rock for the last 30 years and missed all the gajillion weight loss fads we’ve been through, most people know perfectly well what the health risks are in restaurant food. We just don’t effing care. Some of us care most of the time and not when we’re on vacation or in the midst of a breakup. Some of us never care because we self-medicate with food. Some of us are poor and always struggling and one of the few pleasures we get in life is from Mountain Dew and some hot wings. In none of these cases is a lack of education the problem.

I mean, what’s next? Will the government be in my kitchen? I baked an apple cobbler this weekend with half a pound of butter and a cup of sugar in it, and I topped it off with some premium vanilla ice cream. Is the IRS going to start requiring me to submit all my recipes with my 1040 and start taxing be extra for all the fat and carbs I’m consuming? Never mind if I run 6 miles a day or anything.

I’ll make a deal with Dear Leader: When he gives up his cancer sticks, I’ll give up my daily trips to McD’s for a mocha Frappe. Until then, he can mind his own effing business.

I have

NoLeftTurn on March 28, 2010 at 9:56 PM

NannyState Knows Best.

Shut up and swallow.

The motto of the Obots.

profitsbeard on March 28, 2010 at 10:04 PM

If you are a small chain it might be wise to close down those locations that make the least to the point where the mandate doesn’t apply—-yet!! That, of course will add to unemployment but that doesn’t seem to bother the Obama folks. In the meantime, the vendors on the street corners will go right on selling their stuff thank goodness. And the smaller ice cream places will just see a massive increase in business. Wealth re-distribution by default?

jeanie on March 28, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Doesn’t it all seem as if we’ve walked right into the pages of 1984? We are beginning to live the book. Saying again that I’m glad I’m old and will not have to watch my country die by inches for very long.

jeanie on March 28, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Beginning next year, workers will have a new tax deducted on that “FICA” line of their paycheck. It’s for long term care and is estimated at about $180/month.

I thought they said it would pay out about $75/day. Which of course would pay for about ten minutes in a decent nursing home.

Not that it matters b/c we know this will be just like Medicare and SS: A source of revenue for them now that will be long since bankrupt by the time anyone needs to use it.

NoLeftTurn on March 28, 2010 at 10:09 PM

I hear Obama’s considering government ownership of about 22 pizza restaurants in the Twin Cities area….and probably more food chains in the area.

Gotta either stunt the growth for the little guy, or take control, and own it. That’s the Ostupid way!

capejasmine on March 28, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Next they will close restaurants they deem unhealthy (or not unionized, or not giving campaign funds to Teh One) like in LA.

LA Bans Fast Food

PattyJ on March 28, 2010 at 10:26 PM

I’m waiting to see the test results that soy also causes cancer. Give it time. It’ll happen.

Liam on March 28, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I think there’s already evidence that consuming soy products may be linked to the development of breast cancer.

Puts me in mind of this Woody Allen movie clip.

NoLeftTurn on March 28, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Next they will close restaurants they deem unhealthy (or not unionized, or not giving campaign funds to Teh One) like in LA.

Prepare for more riots if they try to shut down In-and-Out Burger.

NoLeftTurn on March 28, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Seems a good time to post the British health care success story of the day…old man dies after NHS nurses refuse him water, even after he called the hospital switchboard and begged them to send someone to help him:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1261457/Dying-hospital-patient-phoned-switchboard-begging-drink-nurses-said-No.html

Sharke on March 28, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Is Atlas Shrugging yet?

Does this mean one Bill O’Reilly MIGHT now call Obama a “socialist”? No, I am not betting the farm on that one.

It is at this time that I would like to propose a trade with Israel. We will take their 9% who still favor Obama, if they will take the 35% of Americans who STILL think he is doing a swell job!

freeus on March 28, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Someone didn’t read the memo.
ObjectionSustained on March 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I read the memo!

Ya know, Vodka doesn’t have any carbs!

DSchoen on March 28, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Portillos has 48 restaurants. I love their chopped salad and ribs. Yum.

What will Portillos do?

It’s pretty clear that a chain that has 21-27 restaurants will most likely close down low performers and try to get under the magic number. But what about those like Portillos? Is 48 enough to absorb a 200k hit? Will expansion plans stop? Plus the rest of Obamacare?

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 28, 2010 at 11:28 PM

Fried Chicken is ok though.

johnnyU on March 28, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Responsible adults

Aye.. there’s the rub.

spmat on March 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM

LA Bans Fast Food
PattyJ on March 28, 2010 at 10:26 PM

This from the same group that though, Hum, how can we fight crime in South Central LA?

I know lets change the name!
Lets change South Central LA to South LA!

Yippee! Problem solved! No more crime in South Central LA!

It would be funny if it weren’t true.

DSchoen on March 28, 2010 at 11:37 PM

Now if only we could get a “truth in legislation” law passed that sent politician to jail when they lie about the contents of a bill.

By now, Nancy Pelosi would have been sentenced to years of waterboarding.

J_Crater on March 29, 2010 at 12:07 AM

All candidates for office next year need to take the pledge to repeal cr@p like this. $200,000 would pay for 20 or more fast food type jobs.

And let’s challenge those who think this is necessary to prove how many people actually use the “food pyramid” and the silly nutritian labels with their totally pulled-out-of-someone’s-arse “serving sizes”. This stupidity already is forcing food to be sold in larger packages just so the label will fit.

Government schemes seem to be built upon the belief that “all liars can write” and “all stupid people can read” ….and thus the mushrooming requirements for more and more useless paperwork and labels.

landlines on March 29, 2010 at 12:20 AM

The word is restaurateurs, not restauranteurs, fyi, by an ex proofreader.

mhrepub on March 29, 2010 at 1:43 AM

Davannis should obviously close all stores above 19, and invite the layed off workers to apply for positions in the 19 stores.

All employment decisions from that moment forward should be made on a best-guess policy — does the applicant support Obamalism? No thanks.

Jaibones on March 29, 2010 at 3:43 AM

I’m waiting for the hard hitting expose on the diabetes epidemic.

Since the Obamacare debate started last year I’ve discovered that about 3/4 of the people I know have diabetes. They’re all middle aged or older and had no symptons until routine blood work came back with the terrible news. One guy, who is obese, has some kind of “pre” diabetes (whatever that is).

Of course, when I suggest that maybe they have Health Insurance Diabetes they get offended. No, they’re quite happy with their blood testing kits and diet plans. Hell, one woman I know is so confident about her plan that she smokes and drinks. She’s a huge Obama supporter. Loves the guy. Hey, what’s not to love?

Jaynie59 on March 29, 2010 at 7:05 AM

I don,t care if this new law has the best intentions the world has ever seen.That,s not the point.The Point is we are supposed to be a free country and it,s NOT the place of the Gov.to try make decisions for all the people just because some people are so DAMN stupid they have no idea that a double cheeseburger large fries and shake might have a lot of calories.Just like on fox news this weekend.a Dr said one of the reason so many children have lots of colds ,allergies and other things is we don,t let kids be kids anymore.You know play in the dirt fall down get cuts and other things all kids used to get that built up there immune system.He said we are just keep kids to clean now.We conservatives have been screaming for years about the coming nanny state were the all powerful and growing Gov. tells you what to eat, what to wear,what to drive,where to live,don,t smoke,don,t do this ,don,t do that.If we don,t stop this now we going to a place we can never return from .

thmcbb on March 29, 2010 at 7:24 AM

wow, this made the front page of the arizona repugnant this am…

cmsinaz on March 29, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Gee, I wonder if Obozo will be eating any of those hi cal hi carb waffles anymore or will find a place that will serve them?

grapeknutz on March 29, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Davanni’s, a local pizzeria-sandwich restaurant with 22 locations around the Twin Cities, will now have to comply with this mandate.

Solution: close 2 restaurants. Thanks Obama and Congressional Democrats, you guys are the bestest!

olesparkie on March 29, 2010 at 8:22 AM

You fail to give them credit – they intended the consequences!

Don L on March 29, 2010 at 8:24 AM

The only approved foods are vinegar and kumquots (caution because they have been found to be toxic to Kaibab Forest, tassle-eared squirrels if ingested within 4.45 hours of each other.)

Of course the unintended consequences of forcing good healthy eating habits upon everyone is that they’ll all live much longer totally fracturing the social security, medicare, (and unemployement?) systems.

Don L on March 29, 2010 at 8:33 AM

The fact is that it’s nearly cheaper to go get a burger out than fix one for yourself. This is “poverty” food.

You simply will have a hard time beating the dollar menu.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 9:50 AM

BTW, the lab analysis shouldn’t be that pricey. Even the kitchen cook can do it with recipes. Those of us who have ever been in Weight Watchers knows this.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Will people really be shocked to find out that Big Macs are unhealthy?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:02 AM

BTW, the lab analysis shouldn’t be that pricey. Even the kitchen cook can do it with recipes. Those of us who have ever been in Weight Watchers knows this.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 9:57 AM

I’m sure the FDA requires a certified nutrition expert. After all, if you’re making businesses jump through hoops, make sure they’re EXPENSIVE hoops!

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:03 AM

BTW, the lab analysis shouldn’t be that pricey. Even the kitchen cook can do it with recipes.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 9:57 AM

This kind of thing is exactly what I just learned in cost management; how to price out a menu and such.

Dark-Star on March 29, 2010 at 10:05 AM

From the picture with this article, it’s clear that the idiot in chief is mimicing his hero, Reverend Wright.

notagool on March 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

And so there goes choice.

How many different Pizza topping combinations are there?
What if you like a different sauce on your angel hair pasta than the one the offer on the menu?

Can’t have that. We don’t have the calorie count.

barnone on March 29, 2010 at 10:20 AM

This was covered by Fox Business News well before the House vote. If this was news to you; you chould think about changing your news source.

Dennis227 on March 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Most people have the common sense to know that big burgers and whopping mounds of fries will total a huge number of calories, no matter where one buys or makes dinner.

See, this is where you assume too much Ed. Plenty of people have no idea what a calorie is, let alone what their individual caloric needs are. Is the way to fix that mandating every establishment in the whole country list calorie counts for everything? No. But in the interest of preventing that, there’s no need to give more credit than is due.

ernesto on March 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

I’ll grant you that most people probably don’t completely understand the nature of calories and how they impact your diet, especially since many experts disagree on how significant calories are.

But I’m pretty sure most people understand that higher calorie counts imply the possibility of weight gain, which is probably all that’s needed.

What we don’t need is more well-meaning meddling that treats intelligent adults like children. Those who are interested in the nutritional value of food items can get the information they want. That’s all that really matters.

tom on March 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I’m sure the FDA requires a certified nutrition expert. After all, if you’re making businesses jump through hoops, make sure they’re EXPENSIVE hoops!

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I’m honestly not sure what’s necessarily required. I read Omnivore’s Dillema, which was really great at describing the hoops to be jumped to be deemed, “organic.”

It’s a great read, btw.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Will people really be shocked to find out that Big Macs are unhealthy?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:02 AM

In WW terms, a Big Mac meal is 12 points. To give you a reference, I only am allowed 18 per day at my height and age.

Which means, my Big Mac attacks better be few and far between. *haha

(I still love them, btw.)

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I’ll grant you that most people probably don’t completely understand the nature of calories and how they impact your diet, especially since many experts disagree on how significant calories are.

I frankly do not know a single person who is confused about this in real life.

We know.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

This entire “method” is just silly. The issue with people and their eating habits is like East meets West.

We KNOW what isn’t healthy. What we haven’t figured out is how to give it up.

We’d much rather science figure out how a pill will fix it.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM

What a great time to raise the price of the lower calorie items on the menu, after all it’s more expensive to eat healthy.

royzer on March 29, 2010 at 11:41 AM

What a great time to raise the price of the lower calorie items on the menu, after all it’s more expensive to eat healthy.

royzer on March 29, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Absolutely. That’s exactly what happens in the grocery business.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Many of us will go to jail for not having medical insurance. In jail they have portion control. They will also have free insurance. Calorie announcements will do very little without portion control. Example: the Michelle bottom index.
Obama is funding jungle Gyms and monkey bars. Too bad kids are hooked on video games.

seven on March 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I’ll grant you that most people probably don’t completely understand the nature of calories and how they impact your diet, especially since many experts disagree on how significant calories are.

I frankly do not know a single person who is confused about this in real life.

We know.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The number of people who are “not confused” necessarily includes the people who are misinformed. There’s some disagreement whether Calorie counting is a good approach, and good arguments for paying attention to the nutritional composition of what you eat (carbs, protein, and fats) rather than just counting Calories.

But if you don’t know that rich and greasy foods are not especially healthy, I don’t think government regulations are going to help.

tom on March 29, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Now that government is becoming responsible for the costs of our healthcare, it is only logical that they would seek to force us to maintain our health. A major part of that involves controlling our diets. The statist mindset already has created bans (in some areas) on transfats and salts, higher taxes on regular sodas than on diet sodas, and barring fastfood joints from opening within a certain distance to schools – as if they were porno shops.

So it follows that the government would require that I have the calorie count of my #4 at Wendy’s shoved in my face. Hopefully, in the view of the government, I will be so repulsed by repulsed by it that I will order the double cheeseburger meal instead of the triple cheeseburger meal. Perhaps I will even opt for – God forbid – the single cheeseburger meal, with a side salad instead of fries, and a diet soda – better yet, water.

If that fails to deter me from a path of obestity, diabetes, and heart failure, then the government will ban meals that will contain more than say 800 calories.

DarkKnight3565 on March 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Are we really still telling ourselves these consequences are “unintended”?

Cylor on March 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Democrats know what is best for people. You will never be happy until you cede every aspect of life to democrat policy. They know best cause they are so smart.

daesleeper on March 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

They really don’t give a cr*p about small business. Besides the donks in DC with their hand in your pocket every second, you have to fight the state, county, and city thieves.

Blake on March 29, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Can we make congress count its “calories” when they’re gorging themselves at the pork trough with our tax dollars, plus all our credit? For all the mom and pop restaurants out there, let me suggest that you just copy off the big chains. Like the crazy regulation of garage sales they floated out like a turd in the pool last year, this, too will come to naught, because it’s stupid and unenforceable. BTW, how’s all that warning crap on cigarette packs, ladders, and every other thing sold in this nannyfied country working out for everyone? Real effective–not.

Ay Uaxe on March 29, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Well it follows that once the calories and carbs are calculated the people cannot be trusted to do the right thing so the higher calorie and carb offerings will need to be taxed in porportion to their counts so as to turn us into a more healthy nation thus cut the healthcare costs for all!

Tax meat and noodles so the mortals eat lettuce while the Kings (Pinnochio)and Queens (Nasty Pelosi and Barney the Frank) eat wagu beef, caviar and arugla.

See this bill really is utopian in nature!

Don’t you feel better already?

dhunter on March 29, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Just killed a big turkey…. ah shot a gobbler… here and there was no warning label about trans-fats and calories on it when I cleaned him. Where is the government when we need them? In the freezer waiting for Thanksgiving, glad that we still have a little freedom left here in this part of America.

I am not a racist on March 29, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Related parody: Democrats to Require Individuals to Buy “D’oh!bama” Insurance to Cover Losses Resulting from Flaws in ObamaCare Law http://optoons.blogspot.com/2010/03/democrats-to-require-individuals-to-buy.html

Mervis Winter on March 29, 2010 at 11:03 PM

I am all for them closing 3 restaurants in order to NOT comply with this superb legislative secret…

Method of choice: check employee cars for Obama-Biden bumper stickers… Give them the “change” they voted for…

Khun Joe on March 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM

“This is a fundamentally anti-growth policy” – Ed Morrissey

For crying out loud, is this the best argument you have? That it’s “anti-growth”? Seriously? With stupid, utilitarian arguments like the above, it’s no wonder liberalism has dominated the culture and political sphere.

How about the fact that it is unconstitutional, Ed? How about the fact that it is a jurisdictional violation of the proper role of the civil government? How about the fact that such a “law” is not law at all, but is immoral?

Your utilitarianism and pragmatism, which is all too typical in conservatism, ultimately accepts the basic socialistic premises that make such policy as this possible. Instead of opposing liberalism itself, you’re merely criticizing certain aspects of it.

This reminds me of Laura Ingraham saying that the fundamental problem with ObamaCare was that it doesn’t work, it’s not practical (or something to that effect). Really, Laura? I thought the fundamental problem with it is that it’s ungodly, immoral and unconstitutional?

The way some of you conservatives talk, if a version of ObamaCare came along that was “workable” and affordable in an improved economy, you wouldn’t be able to mount any principled objections against it!

2Brave2Bscared on March 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM

If I had 20+ restaurants, the only thing I would put on my sign is;

“The Government can KISS my AZZ!”

But I love that idea of saying all items have 3500 calories or less.

TheSitRep on March 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM

NRA (National Restaurant Assoc) Vice Pres. said “they are waiting on guidance (from Feds) for allowable “menu fonts”.

Dept of Menu Fonts?

aquaviva on April 1, 2010 at 1:16 AM

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