Policy

The Federal Government Wants You to Know That Your Pizza Contains Between 1,840 to 3,740 Calories. You're Welcome.

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health food

In its ongoing campaign to make sure Americans know that fast food is bad for them, the federal government snuck a provision into ObamaCare that mandates shoehorning nutritional information onto menu boards. Now restaurants are struggling to comply with the law—and may wind up confusing customers rather than informing them. From today's Washington Examiner:

Section 4205 of the national health care law, "Nutritional Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants," caused little stir when Obamacare passed last year.

(Got plenty of coverage here at Reason!)

The law specifies that the number of calories in a food product must be printed directly next to the item on the menu, which is particularly difficult for fast-food restaurants that post their products on large, already crowded signs rather than standard paper menus….

In Domino's case, the only way it can fit calorie information on its menu signs is to provide broad ranges. For instance, a large "Feast" pizza could range from 1,840 to 3,740 calories, because there are four different crust types and six different varieties.

But on the current website, a customer could get much more specific. As in—a slice of a large deep dish "ExtravaganZZa Feast" pizza contains 420 calories (and there are eight slices in a large pie).

Domino's says compliance will cost the chain $5 million, the schizophrenic burger chain Hardees/Carl's Jr. pins their costs at $1.5 million.