The Spectacle Blog

Big Brother Regulates Food Calorie Labels

By on 2.27.14 | 12:43PM

Ever waltz into CVS for a Coke and find yourself looking at the nutrition label? You scan it, discover that a serving has 180 calories, but then realize that one bottle actually contains two servings.

What will you do now?! How will you ever know how many calories are in your drink?!

Big brother to the rescue.

The FDA has proposed a $2 billion initiative to change nutrition labels so they are no longer “confusing” or “misleading.” Serving sizes will be more reasonable (because no one eats only 7.5 chips), added sugar content will be exposed, and the calorie count will be displayed in big, bold numbers:

“Our guiding principle here is very simple, that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf and be able to tell whether it's good for your family,” said first lady Michelle Obama…

This comes as a relief to Americans who failed third-grade arithmetic. No one should be forced to do math after a long day; that is too much effort for the consumer. The bad news? We might be burdened by such numeric challenges for another three years:

The FDA will take comments on the proposal for 90 days, and a final rule could take another year. Once it's final, the agency has proposed giving industry two years to comply.

This new regulation would force food companies to spend a predicted $2 billion for different labels and allegedly encourage them to sell healthier food, since many Americans will be frightened off by a high calorie count or added sugar content.

Because, of course, most Americans believe that a bag of Doritos and Coke is healthy and these labels will enlighten their darkened minds. Not to mention the boldface calorie display will horrify chubby children, successfully preventing such dangerous consumption.

All sarcasm aside, why do we need the government to step in like this and strap companies with expensive and unnecessary regulations?

As an English major, math and I have always been sworn enemies, but even I can handle multiplication by two (it’s the 1.5 that gets tricky). Additionally, if anyone was really concerned about calories, sugary soda would not be his/her go-to.

Americans should be offended by the liberal notion that we are too childish to determine what foods we should and should not eat. If liberals claim a woman has the “right” to murder her baby, we better have the right to eat a whole tub of ice cream if we so darn please. Do we know that’s bad for us? Yes. Would a fancy new label reading “3,000 Calories!” be the only way we would know that? Certainly not.

The aftermath of our groaning stomachs would make that abundantly clear.

Instead, how about the government worries about something more important – like the NSA, or defense or Obamacare – and leaves food labels alone. 

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