Why Food Labelling Won't Lead to Sustainable Weight Loss for the Obese

The Liberal government in Ontario has reintroduced The Healthy Menus Choices Act that will mandate caloric labeling. Restaurants, convenience stores, and others with 20 or more locations will be required to have menus and menu boards that include caloric content of standard food, beverage, and alcohol items and other information to be prescribed.

Caloric labelling is a recent strategy in combatting obesity. It's been tried in the United States in various cities and states. Its use is being extended nationally under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The idea behind requiring disclosure of calories of items on menus is simple: when people are alerted to how many each selection contains they will, thinking about their weight, select the ones with lower amounts. Does such disclosure work? To date: Not really.

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