Calorie counts on menus aren’t working, new research shows

Daily News Article - November 13, 2015


1. a) How long ago did then-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg require calorie counts on menus across NYC?
b) For what reason did city officials pass this requirement for restaurants?

2. What did the latest study conclude about the effectiveness of the government requiring fast food restaurants to post calories on the menu?

3. a) The study did not examine why the regulations were not effective. What does the reporter suggest could be the reason?
b) What do you think: do you or disagree with this assertion?

4. What exactly did Mr. Elbel find when examining fast food restaurants in NYC and NJ?

5. What response did the NYC health department give when asked about the results of the study?

6. What have other studies (including Health Commissioner Bassett’s when she worked in the private sector) found about consumers’ use of calorie information?

7. a) What new warning is New York now requiring restaurants to add to their menus?
b) Why do officials think this warning will be more effective than calorie information?

8. It was costly for restaurants to redo menus to add calorie information. Most likely the cost was passed on to customers in some way, such as higher prices, smaller portions or lower quality food offered. Do the benefits to consumers who chose to use the calorie info outweigh the cost to all consumers? Explain your answer.

9. People know fast food is not healthy yet they still eat it. The government is trying, by enacting regulations on private businesses, to force people to make healthy choices. Should officials consider closing fast food restaurants completely as a way to prevent people from eating too much fast food? Explain your answer.

10. How, in your opinion, will people make healthier food choices?