Florida Legislator Pushes Restaurant Labeling of Food: Fuggeddaboutit!

Florida legislators, who recently started meeting in Tallahassee, are considering a plan to force restaurant chains to list the nutritional value of their food on menus.

The plan, by State Senator Steve Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, would require chains with more than 20 locations to provide consumers with vitamins and so forth about the food. The bill has also been introduced in the House.

It's a crappy idea for several reasons. First, because the Republican sponsors aren't providing any teeth. There's no penalty for breaking the law. Second, it's an effort to combat obesity that's doomed to fail.

Wise notes that the number of fat Floridians (of course, he doesn't use that word) has ballooned over the last decade from only 18 percent of the population to about 25 percent. True nuff. Problem is, that has happened with almost all grocery store food including ingredients and nutritional value.

Besides, restaurants not only have a strong lobby, as the Miami Herald and others have noted, but they are canny. Note, for instance, McDonalds' attempt to win public suport by providing free Egg McMuffins this morning to help kids prepare for the FCAT. Never mind that the Egg McMuffins are rated a D+ from caloriecount.com and that McDonalds is extremely public about its nutritional value or lack thereof.

Wise's effort is worthless. It;d be better for the state to provide school gym classes, which are on the wane, and to educate parents more about getting their kids more exercise. 

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