Do calorie postings make a difference?

Monday, September 17, 2012
Chris Woodward (

Beginning this week, McDonald's is posting calorie counts on menus nationwide ahead of a new ObamaCare regulation that requires that information. But one mom and senior fellow doesn't think it will make a difference.

Julie Gunlock, director of the Independent Women's Forum's (IWF) Women for Food Freedom project, notes that multiple studies have been conducted in the U.S. and Great Britain, where calorie postings have been required now for more than a decade.

Gunlock, Julie (IWF)"They are unanimous that these postings do nothing," she relays. "What's interesting is that sometimes people see the calorie information [and] they might say, hey, I'm going to have this supposed healthier item, but it only has 200 less calories than another other item. So, who cares? I'm just going to throw in the towel and get the higher calorie item."

The regulation applies to restaurants with 20 or more locations, but Gunlock maintains that posting and updating calorie count information is a big cost to business.

"A lot of people might shrug their shoulders at this kind of stuff and say, hey, this is great. Look, I appreciate this calorie information for myself and my children, but when I walk into a McDonald's, I don't think my kids are going to get a … salad or couscous and a baked chicken," the IWF spokesperson suggests. "I think people understand that when they go to a McDonald's, they're going to get a Happy Meal; they're going to get a burger and fries, and those things have calories.

In a related blog, Gunlock writes that "eaters yawn" at calorie postings and "order high-calorie food" anyway.

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