Counting Calories

The Economist ponders menu labeling:

Menu labelling may...encourage restaurants to provide healthier dishes. In response to New York’s menu-labelling law, Cosi, a restaurant chain, created a new menu with healthier items and lowered the calorie content of some of its existing sandwiches. As a result, it says, people are switching to the lower-cal products. National chains like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Denny’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have all introduced less calorific items since menu labelling went into effect in New York. Changes in consumer taste, they say, not menu labelling, are the reason for these changes. But worries about having to print supersize calorie counts on their menus may have played some part. The proof is in the reduced-fat pudding.