By Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
Effective today, restaurants chains with more than 20 restaurants are required to post the calorie count of each meal on their menu. A law passed under Obama. This goes ahead in the face of ample evidence showing that posting calories does not significantly help people lose weight. This was true for multiple reasons. (A) People don’t know how many calories they should be eating; they haven’t been told in a clear way. (B) Calories are not the important factor anyway; insulin is.
The fact that this measure went forward anyway, in the face of the evidence, suggests a problem with government, democratic government in particular, mainly that the appearance of action is more valuable to people in government than real action.
--You can get started with a phony solution right away, and get the credit right away.
--The mere appearance of action is sufficient to secure votes or funding.
--It takes time to find out if a real solution has been effective.
--By the time you find out, everybody has forgotten what the original problem was.
--Having fixed the problem, the legislator must go on to learn about something new.
--Fixing problems for real can create enemies in the process.