So far, Texas has not jumped on the paternalistic bandwagon of requiring restaurants to post the calorie counts of their menu items, as many cities have done and as many state legislatures (including California and New York) are contemplating.

Just as city ordinances banning the use of certain foods and ingredients violate the property rights of private restaurant owners, so to do laws requiring eateries to, at their own expense, tell customers how many calories are in their menu items. What a colossal waste of time and money, both for legislatures and city councils and for restaurants.

No legitimate reasoning exists for government’s having the authority to tell a private restaurant how to run their business, whether this means telling them what they can and cannot serve or whether it means telling them they have to disclose to customers calorie counts. This is simply not a proper role of the state. Individuals are free to patronize or not patronize a restaurant for whatever reason(s) they choose. What happened to individual choice and personal responsibility? No one makes forces people to eat high-calorie or high-fat or high-cholesterol items. Rather, they have a choice. This same freedom of choice should extend to restaurants to run their operations however they see fit.

If saner heads prevail, Texas municipalities and state legislators will see the high-cost, property-rights-violating burdens that such calorie-posting laws impose on restaurants and will not join the nanny-state chorus that is creeping ever more deeply into our lives and grabbing ever more of our personal freedoms.

– Drew Thornley