Too Much Information II


Normally, I find "labeling requirement" regulations at least somewhat less noxious than other sorts, since extra information can sometimes help markets work better. But a proposal being considered by the FDA to require nutritional information on restaurant menus seems pretty nuts. As several of the sources quoted in the article note, an individually prepared meal isn't subject to the same level of precision as some mass-produced box of cereal. The potential burden, especially at places where the chef is in the habit of preparing several new "specials" each day, seems huge. And does anyone really think this is going to have a palpable impact on the "obesity epidemic"? Is the 500 lb guy who's about to order another porterhouse steak going to suddenly exclaim: "Oh heavens, there's fat in these things"? Are people who'd be inclined to pay attention to nutritional info currently unaware that pasta dishes are carb-heavy?