In today’s Wall Street Journal, there is an article about the Federal government’s new mandate that requires the disclosure of trans fats in food sold in grocery stores. Assuming that all the test data to date about the harmful affects of too much trans fat in our diets is correct, I still don’t see the need for the new law which goes into affect next year. The law is frivolous, costly, and unnecessary.

It is already the case that many food producers are including their trans fat count. Amazingly, the producers who choose to post their trans fat count find that, by revealing this information by posting it on their products’ containers, consumers actually buy more of their product. By posting this information, consumers — who may not know exactly how much trans fat is bad, or what adverse affects trans fat’s may bring — realize that whatever company would freely post this information, obviously has room to boast.

And, what’s more, most of the consumers who will be paying attention to trans fat content will be a health-conscious shopper who understands the role of trans fat in the development of bad health. Also, most of the current products that list trans fats are competing for the health-conscious shopper.

By forcing all producers to list trans fat stats, the consumer is left with more numbers to comprehend. And more than not, most consumers won’t take the time to find this information out. So, the costly enactment of this legislation is really not worth the bother.

Moral: you can’t force people to be healthy by posting a number on a box.