Healthcare Triage: Menu Calorie Labeling Isn’t Doing Much to Fight Obesity

Americans remain very overweight. According to the CDC, about 38% were obese in 2014, meaning that they had a body mass index of at least 30, compared to 32% just a decade ago. This is in spite of massive efforts to try and get people in the United States to eat more healthily.

Policymakers continue to believe that this is a problem of information dissemination. One obvious solution, therefore, is to give people calorie counts of what they are eating in restaurants. Recent mandates have directed that by the end of next year, calorie labeling will be required on all menus in chair restaurants in the US.

It is assumed that once Americans know what they are eating, they will eat less, or at least more health consciously. Will they? New data exist! That’s the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

This episode was based on a column I wrote for the Upshot. Links to further reading can be found there!


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