Obesity

Understanding The Nitty-Gritty Behind The Federal Menu Mandate

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Hot Air's Ed Morrissey talks with the vice president of the Davanni's pizza and sandwich chain in the Twin Cities area about the ins and outs of the federal menu mandate, which is part of health-care reform legislation and forces chains with 20 or more branches to publish extensive calorie counts of all items for sale.

As Morrissey finds out, that's easier said than done. This vid is particularly interesting, I think, in walking through the steps that even seemingly banal regulations force on business.

And all for no good reason: Like most big and small chain providers, Davanni's has the information available online and upon request, though exact counts are difficult to gin up in a world of personalized pizzas. Beyond that, it's far from clear that public calorie counts have much effect on eating behavior.

Video is about 7 minutes long.

NEXT: This Week in Innocence

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  1. Anything that hurts fast food chains is good for America. People should be preparing their own meals, rather than perpetuating the reign of substandard employment that fast food chains create. (High class dining once in a while is different because the servers make a decent wage.)

    1. D-

      1. You’re being generous with that grade, EAP.

        1. Forrest finally went full retard.

          1. I’ve seen better trolls at a bingo parlor.

          2. “Finally”? I thought he was already there.

      2. As an entropist, I reject your authority to grade me.

        1. If you are are true entropist, then you are arriving at greater disorder until you are no longer.

          You rejection is inconsequential.

          1. Who are you to tell entropists what we believe? We believe in spreading around the entropy to others who need it.

        2. F+. At best.

          1. Worse than an F. That was, like…an H. Minus.

    2. Positively Gumpish.

    3. Corporations need to be stopped from rounding prople up at gun point and forcing them to work at these places.

      Happy High Class Dining, Forrest.

    4. And what will all those teenagers be doing once you’ve closed all the McDonalds, BKs, Wendys, etc., Forrest? If there were higher-paying jobs out there already, don’t you think they’d be working them instead of the Mickey-D’s gigs?

      Scratch a southpaw, find a sniffy patrician.

    5. Except that this hurts the mid size decent quality food restaurants more than the fast food chains.

      Fast-food chains can and do reduce their ingredients to very standardized set. Pay someone to calculate nutrition information and spread the cost over hundreds of restaurants.

      Midsize chains of reasonably quality, I’m thinking Wildfire, Legal Seafood etc, need to pay attention to the quality of the food on hand, and adjust their recipes accordingly. How can they reasonably calculate nutrition when they may not even know all the ingredients until 5 PM?

      Cooking is not chemistry.

      1. The regulation requires calorie counts, not full nutrient information. All that a little bit of recipe variability does is require a bit more sampling to come up with a reasonable mean.

        1. The cost isn’t necessarily in finding the calorie count, but, as the video makes clear, in deploying that information to the public. For a small chain stuggling to keep its head above water, that might make the difference between keeping Stores #20 and #21 open or just laying everyone off so they don’t have to comply with the regulation.

          Who does that benefit?

        2. The regulation requires calorie counts, not full nutrient information.

          Last I heard calories were considered nutritional information. have you ever looked at the government mandated nutrition facts?

          All that a little bit of recipe variability does is require a bit more sampling to come up with a reasonable mean.

          Just a little more sampling between 5:00 and 5:30. Piece of cake. What if you run out of an ingredient at 7:30 and need to alter the recipe from olive oil to butter? Have you ever cooked something more complicated than a frozen dinner? Have you ever tried to get an accurate calorie count? Pushing work and costs on others is easy when you are clueless.

        3. The regulation requires calorie counts, not full nutrient information.

          Last I heard calories were considered nutritional information. Have you ever looked at the government mandated nutrition facts?

          All that a little bit of recipe variability does is require a bit more sampling to come up with a reasonable mean.

          Just a little more sampling between 5:00 and 5:30. Piece of cake. What do you do if you run out of olive oil at 7:30 and need to switch to butter? Have you ever cooked something more complicated than a frozen dinner?

    6. You’re really not very good at this.

  2. Reinstituting vomitoria would solve many problems. People would not need the calorie information and hence the bureaucracy; small businesses would sell more food; construction and maintenence jobs would be actually be created (not “saved”); …. The list goes on and on.

    1. A+

    2. And vomit is easy to compost.

      1. Teh chillen get more exercise, too.

        The list goes on and on.

    3. But the vomitoria must post counts of calories lost for each type of vomitting action. And clothing stores must post the number of times each pair of underwear has been tried on, brothels must conspicuously post the mean diameter of their employees’ relevant orifices, and public restrooms must post a count of bacteria living in the toilet bowl.

      1. Uh Forrest…..

        Oh forget it. You truly are horrible at this.

        1. I’m not even sure he knows what “this” is he’s trying to achieve. It’s like he has two poles and trolls from both sides of the boat.

  3. Davanni’s pizza sucks, BTW.

    1. The deep dish was awesome.* The crust was parbaked in garlic butter and then the whole pie baked again in garlic butter.

      *At least it used to be. Haven’t had one in over a decade, so they might have changed and made it sucky.

  4. Oh boy. I smell another pizza debate.

    1. New Yorkers are wrong. Period. Debate over.

      1. Well, obviously. I do like their pizza though.

    2. Embrace diversity! All pizza is good. Except for the abomination the Japanese call pizza. It has mayonnaise instead of tomato sauce, for god’s sake!

      1. Japan is bad for pizza traditionalists. May as well serve saki with that instead of beer, since they FUBARed it may as well go all the way.

  5. Beyond that, it’s far from clear that public calorie counts have much effect on eating behavior.

    Having known a couple minor local regulatory honchos, I think the walking-the-earth-pointing-to-things-I-forced-people-to-do effect is the only one that matters. Menu regs are fantastic for that.

  6. This is how big business teams up with nanny-state regulators to drive the smaller competition out of the market or prevent competition from starting in the first place. The de minimis exemption of 20 restaurants isn’t so large: it’s probably about the point at which a big chain starts to notice the effects of a popular regional competitor.

    The costs of compliance for regulations like these are a much greater burden when you don’t have the ability to amortize any fixed costs over hundreds or thousands of restaurants. Pizza Hut won’t be crying any tears over this.

  7. This is how big business teams up with nanny-state regulators to drive the smaller competition out of the market or prevent competition from starting in the first place.

    The Libertarian Catch-22 at play once again.

    1. There is nothing Catch-22 about it.

      I dont think you know what the phrase means or dont understand libertarianism.

      Eliminate the power of government to regulate and big business doesnt have the power to abuse regulations.

      1. I think someone is spoofing Scotch. He has misused the term catch-22 three days in a row. No one can really be that stupid.

        1. Apparently Scott – or Scott Primed – can be

      2. The Catch-22 is that you guys want big business to become powerful enough to be the ones who decide what the government can and cannot do.

        Either way, somebody is going to be in charge. That’s the catch-22.

        1. BTW, I am employing definition #3:

          Catch-22 also catch-22 (kchtwn-t-t, kch-)
          n.
          1.a. A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently ilogical rules or conditions: “In the Catch-22 of a closed repertoire, only music that is already familiar is thought to deserve familiarity” (Joseph McLennan).
          b. The rules or conditions that create such a situation.
          2. A situation or predicament characterized by absurdity or senselessness.
          3. A contradictory or self-defeating course of action

        2. “The Catch-22 is that you guys want big business to become powerful enough to be the ones who decide what the government can and cannot do.”

          [citation needed]

        3. The Catch-22 is that you guys want big business to become powerful enough to be the ones who decide what the government can and cannot do.

          As opposed to now?

    2. Who’s responsible for fake-troll QC around here, anyway? It’s getting pretty ridiculous.

    3. It’s not a catch-22, troll. In libertopia, big (or small) business is left to succeed or fail on their own, without government assistance.

      1. Exactly. In libertopia, which is a fairy-tale world.

        In the real world, the powerful use their power. You folks don’t want the government to prevent a small percentage of people from accumulating a large percentage of the wealth and then you act all indignant when those people use their power in ways you don’t like.

        1. And how is giving more power to the government better?

          1. Because the government answers to the people via the voting booth.

            There is a balance to be struck, of course…nobody wants a government that is too powerful. But if any group becomes too powerful, they become the government.

            Libertarians, even those with their hearts in the right place, seem to have the idea that only the group labeled “the government” can be oppressive, when in fact any group with power can use that power to oppress and limit freedom.

            1. Libertarians, even those with their hearts in the right place, seem to have the idea that only the group labeled “the government” can be oppressive, when in fact any group with power can use that power to oppress and limit freedom.

              Wrong. We advocate for a government which only protects individual liberty precisely because we understand that. You advocate for an intrusive and oppressive government and then can’t figure out why the wealthy use it to magnify their power over us.

              1. Because the government answers to the people via the voting booth.

                Businesses answer to the people every day. If you don’t like McDonald’s food, you go to Burger King or Taco Bell.

                Government has no competition and therefore has no business in the market place.

                1. Perfect answer. You save wear and tear on my typing finger, a noble and worthy existence.

                  1. “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
                    P. J. O’Rourke

  8. Hot Air – the hotbed of principled libertarianism ….

  9. Poorly done sockpuppets done amuse me, Forrest is now in the INCIF file.

    I miss joe.

    1. dont amuse me.

      I also miss the preview button.

    2. INCIF? What the hell is that? One of your Christofascist militia groups?

      1. The correct spelling is ‘Christfag’

        1. Thank you, Kolohe

  10. Alternate Friday Funny

    http://www.mndaily.com/opinion…..gs-changed

  11. Whoever is spoof trolling as Forrest… My suggestion is that you never let us know who you are. It has been such a stunningly poor performance that–like the blow-job joe gave Obama–we will hounded you until the end of days over it. I’ll bring it up every goddamn time you try to post anything.

    Seriously. Don’t take credit for Forrest.

    1. Scotch has been going downhill rapidly, as well. It takes a special sort of talent to pull this off, and this/these guy(s) don’t have it.

      1. Scotch hasnt annoyed me to the incif point yet. A little more subtlety. The tipping point for Forrest for me was his use of entropian.

    2. I don’t want to know who the hell you all are either. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing that there are actually this many deluded fucks whose breath I’m breathing in this great circle of respiration. The possibility that you’re all just the product of Matt Welsh’s diseased imagination is the only thing that protects me from insanity.

        1. The Matt Welsh thing saved him from an F?

          1. I liked the “whose breath I’m breathing in this great circle of respiration” part.

            1. Little bits of Gabby Hayes…

      1. Don’t forget that you are breathing my farts too.

        1. And loving it!

  12. CBS: Obama Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low

    A new CBS poll puts Obama’s approval rating at 44 percent.

    Rasmussen has him at 46 percent.

    How’s that national health care law working out for you?

    When is our idiot president going to realize that Americans don’t like all this nannyism he’s selling?

    1. Let me be clear – never.

    2. You’re assuming he actually cares what Americans think of anything he does.

  13. Joke handling should be like vermouth in a martini. A little bit is enjoyable from time to time and should be conducive to the atmosphere.

    Blatant poor sockpuppetry is like using bathtub gin.

  14. I often order a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza* (I sometimes add other toppings like onions, green peppers or black olives) and am smart enough to know that caslculating the calorie count for all the possibilities of pizza that an inebriated or merely whimsical J sub D might order is a ridiculous requirement that will only raise the price of a pizza.

    1. * Ignore that asterisk. It’s too hard too explain.

      1. The asterisk means that it’s not really pizza. Just a bunch of random shit on some dough. Anyone who thinks pineapples and pizza go together should be marched straight to the death camps.

    2. NYC already has a calorie count mandate. It’s not putting people out of business, nor causing them to raise prices. At Chipolte, a burrito has a calorie range. Don’t remember exact numbers but it’s like 320 – 760.

      The calorie count at McDs is amazing. Who knew a 1/4 pounder with cheese meal has about 1100 calories.

      I understand the idea about educating the customer, but the isn’t anything the government can’t screw up. Next thing you know, places will be fined for giving portions greater than that tested for calories, thus falsely advertising the count. Some Surgeon General will make the claim that inaccurate calorie counts is making people fat. Then comes the crack down.

      1. Who knew? Anybody who cared to find out. I’m pretty sure every big chain out there publishes their nutrition info- you can get a page with all of the micetype nutritional info upon request at Mickey D’s, or just look it up on the internet.

    3. Personally I’m not picky as long as the only thing on the pizza is tomato based sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

      Serve with copious amounts of cold beer for best enjoyment.

  15. This reminds me: taking a spin back to my hometown today to enjoy a “Sam’s Special” pizze from locally-owned, one-store, family-run Pizza Sam’s.

    Since they have one store, I guess they don’t have to post the nutritional stuff. Well, till the gov’t fixes that oversight – thanks be to Uncle Whiskers when that long-overlooked salvation is visited upon us.

    1. Bring me back to my hometown of Phoenix and Lenny Burgers. Best damn burgers in town, serving at two locations. No AC – hot grill, don’t let the door blocked open and the resulting flies chase you away, real sweat goes into making a Lenny burger.

      If it’s true we are what we eat, then I must be Lenny. Fitting since Lenny always called me his “son.”

      1. 2:38AM;-)

  16. Does anyone else find this terribly wrong?

    The White House Blog
    What Health Reform Means for You and Your Community
    Posted by Jesse Lee on April 01, 2010 at 04:00 PM EDT
    Over at the Health Reform section of WhiteHouse.gov, we’ve compiled a lot of information on what health reform means for Americans, whether they get insurance through their work, buy it themselves or for their families, have a small business, are on Medicare, or just don’t have any insurance at all.

    But there are obviously other ways to break down the information, so by popular demand we are also providing these fact sheets on what reform means for some of the different communities that make up America. If you or somebody you know is interested, by all means have a look, print it out, or send it around:

    Health Reform for American Families (pdf)
    Health Reform for Children (pdf)
    Health Reform for Young Adults (pdf)
    Health Reform for Early Retirees (pdf)
    Health Reform for Seniors (pdf)
    Health Reform for African Americans (pdf)
    Health Reform for Latinos (pdf)
    Health Reform for Rural Americans (pdf)
    Health Reform for Women (pdf)
    Health Reform for Small Businesses (pdf)

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog…..-community

    1. Fight Health Disparities

      – Moves toward elimination of disparities that African Americans currently face both in their
      health and in their health care by investing in data collection and research about health
      disparities. Expands initiatives to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of health care
      professionals and strengthen cultural competency training among health care providers.

      Apparently African-Americans have different internal organs than everyone else? Any insight from Groovus Maximus would be appreciated.

      1. Apart from genetic variances inherent in different ethnicities, ie black americans have higher incidences of essential hypertension, heart disease, obesity, and certain genetic condions like sickle cell and type 3 diabetes. But, no the organs are the same.

        Basically, the “health disparity” is why certain groups have poorer health than others.

        And of course this is “only” because we don’t have UHC and single payer. /end snark.

        The cultural competency stuff is basically to better identify areas where ethnic, socio-economic, religious and educational factors might hinder or inhibit compliance with a certain treatment regimen or therapy. Essentially, the big thing in medicine these days is medicine, while great at diagnosing and treating acute disease via drug therapy and surgery, tends to be less effective with respect to chronic disease, especially if the patient has differing views regarding Western medicine. This is common among older immigrant Asian populations.

        Medicine is pretty ethnically diverse, but some locales may not be.

        In short, the emphasis in on a multicultural approach to the empathic aspects of medicine.

        I am attending s seminar later today to learn how the HCR bill affects physicians and provision and delivery of care of patients, so in the future I can be a more specific.

        1. Correction: Type 2 diabetes.

      2. As an addendum Pip:

        The area of health care these initiatives are being directed towards is not quite so much doctors as it is nurses.

        Nurses are moreso responsible for patient advocacy and pertinent education regarding doctor’s orders for a patient and confirming that orders are understood and can indeed be followed. It is the nurses responsibility to implement effective care and achieve positive therapeutic outcomes.

        Nurses are becoming more specialized in areas of practice and clincal management. With the rise of the advanced practice nurse (ARNP) and nurse anethestist (CRNA) under the supervision of a physician, as well as PA’s, it’s a division of labor model (Thanks to the AMA and its stranglehold on medical school class sizes and licensing).

        Which is fine with me as long as these advanced practice professionals are practicing within scope.

        Remember that speech that Candidate Obama gave about “America not needing more bankers and lawyers and financial [people} but more teachers, nurses ….”

        There is a reason he specified those professions.

    2. Wrong for many reasons…

      But the main one being that the executive branch has morphed over time into such a pseudo-kingship that Americans expect to find this kind of shit on the White House website to begin with.

      The ultimate blame lies with Congress, who long ago started writing laws in the line of, “The president thinks this is a good idea, so we agree it’s a good idea, so Mr. President, here’s a budget to go enforce your good idea as you see fit… MONORAIL!”

    3. (sigh) Left out again.

      1. Not quite. You fall under the auspices of Indian Health Care, which as a model has been strangely silent and not referenced at all during this HCR debate.

        I practice in a state with a very high Cherokee, Creek and Osage population.

        1. A friend of mine just became an Osage member. He has gone thru life thinking he was Scottish, now he has an Osage Nation membership card (as do his kids). He is waiting for paperwork to process but he (and his kids) should be getting their $500 annual health care debit card soon.

          I told another friend of mine about this and his first comment was “Wow, combine that with a catastrophic insurance policy and health care is covered”.

        2. In other words: Relax, Kenny Salazar and the Bureau of Indian Affairs has you covered. *chuckle*

  17. There are some diseases that African-Americans are more prone to getting, either for biological reasons (sickle cell anemia) or economic reasons (AIDS, substance abuse).

    1. And here’s a list of all the reasons why my existing personal healthcare arrangements need to be changed in order to fight African-American diseaeses:

    2. I can catch AIDS from poor people? Who knew???

      1. The President did. And you thought health care reform was some political stunt.

      2. Nancy Reagan

      3. Training seminars on condom use aren’t cheap, you elitist bourgeois prick.

  18. Actually makes sense when you think about it.

    Lou
    http://www.anonymous-surfing.us.tc

    1. Thank you. Finally an intellectually honest person on this blog.

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