FDA Calculates "Lost Pleasure" as People Give Up Junk Food

FDA Calculates "Lost Pleasure" as People Give Up Junk Food

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Emma Christensen
Dec 9, 2014
(Image credit: Kzenon/Shutterstock)

File this one under, "Say what?" Included in the FDA's recently released regulations requiring calorie counts on menus, the FDA also included a "lost-pleasure analysis" — a report on the equivalent economic value of the deprivation that people will feel as they give up their favorite junk foods.

This took a bit of close reading before I could wrap my head around it, but (if I'm understanding correctly!) assigning dollar values to such ephemeral concepts as "lost pleasure" is a fairly common analytical practice. It's useful for fully conceptualizing the cost-benefit of enacting a regulation like posting calorie counts on menus. In this case, there's a health benefit to the consumer, obviously, but also a loss as people feel compelled to give up things that previously made them happy. The FDA wants to know if the health benefits outweigh the pleasure-loss — and in this case, yes, the health benefits won.

It's a bit confusing (at least, unless you're an economist!). Read more on Reuters and see what you think:

Read More: FDA Prices 'Lost Pleasure' of Junk Food into Calorie Count Rule by Sharon Begley for Reuters

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