Congress to Vote on Scaling Back ObamaCare’s Requirement that Restaurants Print Calorie Counts in Menus

Obama Administration’s FDA Makes it a Felony if Even Small Restaurants Make an Error When Posting Calorie Counts

Administration Also Forbids Restaurants from Posting a Range of Calories for Items, Such as Pizza, That May Be Ordered With Variable Toppings

stier_smNew York, NY – “Few people realize ObamaCare’s tentacles extend all the way into your favorite corner pizza shop, even making an error in posting calorie counts a felony. Congress now has the opportunity to take a small slice out of this terrible law,” says Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and head of its Risk Analysis Division.

This week the House of Representatives is expected to debate and vote on the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015.

Stier, who is based in Manhattan, was among the first to notice, as well as criticize, the calorie count requirement on menus buried in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

The bill would scale back the FDA’s onerous one-size-fits-all rules implementing the requirement that restaurants post calorie counts on menus.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has determined that the calorie count requirements will require more than 14 million compliance hours and cost more than $1 billion.

“The FDA’s reckless implementation of the calorie-count rule makes the launch of look seamless by comparison,” says Stier.

“Why didn’t the FDA take advantage of the provision of the bill that directs the agency to revise the regulations to account for the unique attributes of these types of entities without compromising consumers’ access to nutrition information?” asks Stier.

Stier is particularly concerned about the lack of flexibility in the FDA’s approach to how restaurants handle variable menu items. “If a restaurant offers individual toppings or menu items that can be ordered with variations, it should be allowed to post a range of calories rather than a specific count for each of what could be millions of variations,” he says.

“The fact that we even have to resort to fixing the FDA’s rules for implementing menu calorie counts is disheartening, since there’s evidence that mandatory calorie counts actually increase the number of calories people consume at these establishments.”

Stier has been a leading voice against the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach into our diets, debating the subject on CNBC and writing about it in the New York Post, Forbes, National Review and elsewhere.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.