Counting Calories In New York

New rules set to take effect within days will require chain restauarants in New York City to include calorie counts on their menus. It’s more nanny-state government that ultimately will just increase taxes on diners because restaurants will have to replace old menus and bureaucrats will demand more money to justify their food-policing role.

And to what end? I’ve seen calorie counts on menus before, and the only time I’ve paid attention to them is when I’m on a diet. But when I’m on a diet, I tend not to eat in restaurants in the first place.

Everyone knows it’s more fattening to eat out. The temptations to gorge on fried appetizers and sugary desserts are much greater, and the meal portions generally are larger than what people serve themselves at home.

Any cost-benefit examination of this kind of regulation would come down on the side of letting restaurants decide for themselves what to include on their menus. Calorie counts are fine by me, but it should be a business decision, not a bureaucratic one.

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