Despite its bold tag as an “anti-obesity” measure, there’s no proof that the menu labeling law recently passed in Santa Clara County will positively impact the weight of local residents (Page 6B, June 4). The ordinance forces certain restaurants to stress the calorie count of everything consumers might eat, whether we want to know or not. Though most of us occasionally treat ourselves to a big meal at a restaurant, a new economic study shows that we tend to eat fewer calories elsewhere (snacks and other meals) on the days we eat out. Factoring these adjustments into the equation, dining out increases our daily consumption by a mere 24 calories, or less than a single Hershey’s Kiss – not quite the staggering indulgence that county health officials have led us to believe.

Trice Whitefield
Senior research analyst Center for Consumer Freedom Washington, D.C.