This past Monday, the Huffington Post ran an article on menu labeling that was written by two former USDA secretaries. They were writing in support of the mandate found in the Affordable Care Act that requires restaurant chains and similar establishments to post the calorie contents of their items on menus and menu board.
The secretaries, Dan Glickman and Ann Veneman were specifically speaking to the debate over similar establishments, and as I have suggested here, they urged the FDA to include movie theaters in the mandate. They also called for supermarket inclusion and alluded to sports arenas, but did not mention bowling alleys. They appeared to be in support of having all of the venues included because they spoke of consumers being able to compare items no matter where they were choosing them. They said that the regulations should be "inclusive." They also said, and here is where I disagree, that having information available at all locations will make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Though it is necessary to have information to make an informed choice and information is necessary to make one that meets your values, having it does not make the healthy choice easy. Why not? Because information is only one factor that goes into food decisions and if survey research is correct, it is not the number one or even number two factor in this choice. Along side those lower calorie items (on that menu) are the cheaper ones and the more palatable ones(high sat fat and sugar). In order for the healthy choice to truly be easy, we have to do something about the unhealthy choice. We have to find a way to make it LESS desirable. (raise the price or limit the advertising for instance)