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Obama Health Care Bill’s Hidden Agenda for Weight Loss

While people on the left and right are debating the more popular issues regarding President Obama’s health care bill, if you look deeper into the legislation, there is Section 4205. This bit of the bill requires all restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide nutrition labeling for everything on their menu.

While this may be something new on the federal front, cities and states have already started taking this preventative health measure on their own, including New York City and Philadelphia. Mandatory nutritional labeling is also being scheduled to take effect soon in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

There are studies that support both sides of the argument. Supporters of the legislation site studies, including one from Stanford University that found that customers at Starbucks chose foods with lower calories when they were labeled. Another study found that when parents were presented with nutrition labels, they chose 100 fewer calories per meal on average for their children.

On the flip side of the argument is a study out of New York City that examined the results of mandatory labeling there, and found no difference in diners’ food choices when presented with the nutritional facts.

No matter which studies end up being the more accurate, there are some undeniable positives coming from all of this attention to the nutritional content of our foods. According to the Wall Street Journal, more and more restaurants are introducing lower-calories items on the menus, thinking that they need to respond to a perceived public outcry.

While states’ rights advocates may oppose a federal law, some in the restaurant industry understandably prefer a federal rule over individual state mandates, which would make for a logistical mess for companies that have food establishments all over the country.

Whatever the results of the legislation, the most important thing is to keep this sort of thing in the spotlight, and hope that consumers demand lighter-calorie meals, which in turn drives a new kind of competition between restaurant chains over who can offer the most healthy food options.


March 30th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 5 total comments)


I think that Obama has done a great job in bringing the US population public health insurance. I think that it is an integral part of the UK and other nations' public life. In many ways, access to healthcare is a basic human right. I have been following developments at the insurance index that lists health insurance sites at recently. I feel that Obama is doing a good job for the USA overall, it has only been a year. So let's stop giving him a hard time and let him get on with his job. After all, he is a doing a lot better than the previous President ever did.

posted May 5th, 2010 2:17 am

Angel Miller

This could go either way. I think people are becoming more aware of their bad eating habits. Establishments serve to big of portions to make you think your getting your moneys worth. People must change their habits that is the only way obesity for not be a issue.

posted Apr 22nd, 2010 4:24 pm


It would be nice if simple common sense did the trick, but obviously what we are doing right now is not working. At this point, anything is better than doing nothing. Thanks for your input.

posted Apr 1st, 2010 2:37 pm


This is rediculous. Can we not be responsible for our own actions? Do we really need to have a label telling us that something is bad for us when we can see the grease dripping out? We cannot possibly be a country with this many stupid people!

posted Mar 31st, 2010 11:59 am


I don't see how you equate weight loss with posting nutritional data in restaurants, because let's face the facts, people have been eating at restaurants since before the obesity epidemic. If Americans would stop trying to count calories and learned a little self control there would be no epidemic. Calorie counting, just like dieting is a cop out. We as a nation have no idea what balance is. IF you are eating meals that are nutritionally sound and at proper portions you could eat those 'bad items' with no effect on your weight. You are just enabling the population in fingering another scape goat- it's the restaurants fault we're fat because "I didn't know the Chocolate fudge triple decker deep fried Cheeseburger had THAT MANY calories".

posted Mar 31st, 2010 10:34 am


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