Federal Government to Mandate More Calorie Counts – WSJ

The Food Marketing Institute, which represents grocery stores, estimated the cost of complying with the proposed requirements at over $1 billion in the first year, with continuing costs reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.

“This is going to take away from anything that’s freshly made in the store because the costs involved will be so high,” said Robert Rosado, the trade group’s director of government affairs. “You’re going to lose fresh choices.”

But the degree to which labels influence eating habits is up for debate, said Brian Elbel, an associate professor at New York University who has researched calorie labels.

A 2011 study found that Starbucks patrons in New York ordered just 6% fewer calories following the publication of required menu labeling in that city. The study, conducted by Stanford University, showed that Starbucks Corp.’s revenue wasn’t affected.

“Once these labels are rolled out nationally, you can theoretically imagine a different impact,” Mr. Elbel said. “But we don’t know whether that will be the case.”

via Federal Government to Mandate More Calorie Counts – WSJ.

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