Obamacare – the unconstitutional “gift that keeps on fleecing.” This unconstitutional “signature” law of Obama to “cover the 20-30 million uninsured” while touting “those who like their health care plan, can keep their health care plan” has had numerous consequences exposed that indicates Obama lied about the effect of this law. Several news reports and articles have outlined such and need not be repeated. However, a new Obamacare mandate will take place this year that may have every American consumer feeling it in the wallet.
Obamacare mandates “new labeling rules” for restaurants with over 20 locations “to display the calorie counts for every food item on their menus.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally released their 319 pages of “rules” that govern the labeling of restaurant menus; however, the rules are not “straightforward” nor are they clear about how these regulations will be enforced. It isn’t even clear if these new regulations will “encourage Americans to eat fewer calories.” What this mandate does do is increase costs to restaurants at a tune of about $1.7 billion to comply. These costs would mean restaurants would need to increase their prices in order to absorb the cost in these difficult economic times or restaurants would need to trim their menu options.
The real question is “do Americans really care what the calorie count of a meal is when dining out at a restaurant?”
Naturally, these labeling mandates are to “help” Americans with weight loss and make more informed choices; however, studies have shown that the existing menu-labeling laws have had little effect on consumer choice or eating habits.
According to the Daily Caller:
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that New York City’s calorie-labeling law “did not reduce calories purchased, nor did it appear to help participants to better use calorie information posted on menus.” In fact, the study found some counter intuitive evidence that calorie-counts may have led to the purchase of higher-calorie food items.
A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that “consumers at one fast food chain in the Seattle area were unfazed by calorie counts.” The Columbia University School of Nursing also weighed in on the matter stating, “the number of sales and average calories per transaction were unaffected” by menu labeling.
How many Americans even know or care about what exactly a “calorie” is? Simply put, a calorie is a unit of measure of the energy that it takes the body to heat one gram of water by one degree Celsius. In dietary considerations, the measurement used is “kilocalorie: – the amount of energy required to raise a kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Both calorie and kilocalorie are used interchangeably, with one referring to the small measurement and the other to the larger measurement. Further breaking it down, a gram of protein has 4 calories (cal) and a gram of carbohydrates are 4 calories. Fats on the other hand weighs in at 9 cal per gram. Foods are a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats – yes, even meat. This sounds so interesting that most readers can’t tear away from the page. NOT!
So, when you order a pizza with the “works,” the pizzeria will now have to list the total calorie count of the entire pizza as well as the calorie count for each individual ingredient. The restaurants will be labeling beverages the same way, including alcohol. It takes the enjoyment away from an occasional night of “dining out.” Not only is the enjoyment lost, the cost of that occasional “away from the kitchen” break may actually cost more. Since this only applies to restaurants with 20 or more locations, big chains, like Domino’s, Papa John’s, Applebee’s, Chili’s, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut, etc., will have to comply because of unconstitutional Obamacare. In return, the price tag for labeling will be footed once again by consumers whose discretionary income is slowly dwindling.
As a former professional registered nurse, the importance of healthy eating habits to afford the body to function to its fullest potential and maintain a healthy homeostatis is not wasted. However, anyone with intelligence knows that dining out at restaurants is not the healthiest as healthier foods are best prepared at home. That being said, most individuals who dine out are not there to eat healthy. If you are ordering a pizza with the “works” or wanting that large hamburger with “special sauce,” you don’t care about the calories. You want to eat that burger or that pizza. It’s the same thing when you want to eat a steak at the restaurant serving the “onion blossom.”
It boils down to choice; since for most Americans, dining out is the exception and not the norm. It’s that one time during the week or month that you forget about diets, calories and losing weight. Even when on that two week yearly vacation, most Americans may not eating out at every meal. It’s too expensive these days to do that. In fact, some Americans may not be vacationing at all. But, back to labeling.
There are many Americans who have to abide by “special diets” because of health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, high triglycerides, gastroesophageal reflux, obesity, heart disease, and a host of others. It is their responsibility to know what they can and cannot eat as well as figure the calories they can afford to eat for themselves. But, according to the government, the restaurant has to provide labeling to inform everyone of the calorie-counts of food they serve thereby increasing the cost of restaurant operations that will be passed on to every consumer, like it or not. However, even individuals following “special diets” will occasionally partake in a “splurge.”
Most restaurants currently have labeled menus denoting “low calorie” or lower calorie options that also include denoting fat grams for diners who are watching their intake for whatever reason and extending it to restaurant visits. It was done voluntarily. This, however, was not good enough for the federal government. All foods on restaurant menus have to have a calorie-count now, not to “help” Americans lose weight, but to almost shame Americans when making their menu choice. They seek to get Americans to participate in some sort of self-guilt imposition in order to steer them to “eat healthy.” “Oh my goodness! Look at all those calories in that ‘blossom’;” or, “look at all the calories in those chicken fajitas – that’s all the calories allowed for me for two days!” It’s all part of the Obamacare plan to decrease costs in the health care insurance industry that has been taken over by the federal government.
In an interesting little factoid, food labeling has been a “pet project” of the current “Farce Lady” Michelle Obama, in addition to “trashing” the school lunch program. It seems what Michelle wants, Michelle gets. Her obsession has gone so far that school lunches are anything but appetizing, filling, nutritious, varied and containing enough caloric energy for our children to function optimally at school. But, I digress.
If that’s not enough, the FDA actually believes that Americans are “happy” to pay more for the “additional nutritional information.” To put the icing on the cake, this “mandate” of Obamacare affects vending machine owners with 20 or more locations as well. Owners failing to comply with these “rules” will be subject to a monetary fine of $1,000. It is not clear if this is a one-time fine for non-compliance termed “misbranding” or if this fine will be applied yearly, monthly, daily or however long the restaurant and/or vendor is noncompliant.
While small “mom and pop” restaurants and those with less than 20 locations are exempt, one wonders how long it will be before those establishments get targeted by the government. None of this is about “helping” Americans or “enhancing” their choice. It falls along the lines of attempting to shame and intimidate Americans into “choosing” what the government thinks is a better eating choice.
Well, the FDA, federal government, the “Farce Lady” and anyone else can “kiss my grits.” It won’t matter what they print on that menu. If I want a supreme pizza, I’ll eat it, without feeling guilty. Same thing goes for that “special sauce” hamburger or those “fried” chicken biscuits. As eating out is considered a “luxury” for me, when I do go out or decide to partake in “fast food,” I’ll eat what I like, thank you very much, regardless of what calorie information is printed on the menu. But, if the costs of this “luxury” increases anymore because of idiotic federal regulations, the “luxury” of eating out then becomes an extravagant activity – one in which many more Americans will not be able to participate.
I’m sure there are many Americans who have already ceased dining out due to the economy, limited discretionary income and unemployment. These new “rules” will certainly affect many more should it result in higher prices for items or discontinuing some menu items since studies have proven Americans do not make choices based on calorie counts. It is an example of the federal government putting the ax to another area of the economy – the food service industry, along with attempting to further control individual choice.
Things would be a lot better if the federal government didn’t try to “help” so much. Since an unconstitutional executive order gave Obama control of the food and Obamacare has “regulated” labeling, the government might as well pick the pockets of Americans even more. It won’t be long before all the government is going to be able to get out of that pocket is lint. Knowing the government, they’ll probably fleece that too before taking the shirt off your back.