If you'd just told me in the abstract about a proposal to force chain restaurants "to prominently display calorie information" I would have been skeptical, but the vigor with which the affected businesses are fighting back makes me think this may well be a good idea after all since most of the non-Subway firms involved appear to think that keeping this information secret is vital to their business models.
After all, this won't prevent anyone from buying a Big Mac or some KFC — the only reason for thinking it would be bad for business is that these businesses believe that consumers wouldn't want to eat their products if they were better-informed about them. That, in and of itself, seems like a compelling reason to think the information should be provided. It's worth endlessly repeating that policies aimed at improving America's diet and exercise habits are likely to do more for public health than are reforms to the health care finance system.
Photo by Flickr user drewzhrodague used under a Creative Commons license
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.