Calorie count labels could cost billions in "lost pleasure"
The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirement that restaurant chains, movie theaters, grocery store chains, vending machines, and amusement parks provide calorie count labels next to food items could result in "lost pleasure" valued at $5.27 billion.
This "lost-pleasure analysis," stretched over 20 years, was, according to FDA officials, included with the regulations to reflect the sense of deprivation people may feel when the calorie label causes them to give up food they enjoy. While it's not meant to reflect an actual loss in revenue, the analysis is likely to be used by restaurant and food industry groups expected to challenge the FDA rules.
The FDA said that the projected benefits of the calorie labels still outweigh the costs outlined in the analysis. The federal agency predicts the new rules will ultimately save about 10 cents per person per day.
But some economists argue that it's not necessary for the FDA to include this kind of lost-pleasure analysis because its rules would not actually ban certain types of foods, but simply would make calorie information about those foods available.
The new FDA rules are set to go into effect next year.