Is it the government’s job to impose menu labeling regulations?

Many of you are probably unaware of the new menu-labeling regulations President Obama is spearheading through his “Obamacare” program. In short, the regulations would mandate that all restaurants include the calorie count of the items they serve in order to combat rising healthcare costs due to obesity in adults and children.

A noble effort yes, but is it really the job of the government to play nutritionist?

Obviously many restaurant owners are up in arms – especially those who will need to replace their existing menu board systems in favor of an application that will allow for continual updates. One Domino’s franchisee recently said, “To think that I have to deal with these things on the side, and continually have to be putting more money into things that are really of no importance, and of no value to the consumer — and really not anything that they’re wanting, looking at, using — it’s just kind of senseless to me.”

It should be noted, yet not surprising, that this planned initiative has little to no research showing any real benefits of the new menu-labeling regulations.

So what do you think?

On the one hand I can understand how the psychology of the mind works. Think about how our brain responds to a price reading $99 rather than $100. Somehow we actually believe that we’re getting a better deal, right? Without the calorie count on menus, does our brain really think that we’re eating all that bad – that our hamburger and fries could possibly total 2,500 calories?

On the other hand, isn’t life all about responsibility and choices? Isn’t it the job of parents to guide their children to understand that a little indulgence is acceptable from time to time, but if most of your dinners are served out of a drive-thru window – that’s a problem?

Perhaps I’m being a little pessimistic, but I seriously doubt that including the calorie count on restaurant menus is going to stop people from pairing a donut with their morning coffee and French fries with their hamburgers. It might make us stop for a moment and think about the ramifications, but I suspect many of us do that now – and keep eating anyway.

Our government cannot and should not control everything in life – society needs to take some responsibility for their health and well-being, including their children’s.

This seems like another regulation that sounds good in theory, but will only wind up costing small, struggling business owners thousands of dollars.