Despite their joint importance to health care costs, the nature of the relationship between obesity and diabetes is contested within the medical literature. We leverage California’s 2008 law mandating menu-labelling at restaurants to confirm that the law reduced obesity compared to the experience of counties not subject to such regulation. Despite this reduction in obesity, we find no California-specific reduction in the prevalence of diabetes and we find a significantly positive impact on the likelihood of new diabetes diagnoses. We evaluate a range of potential hypotheses that rationalize the divergent findings on obesity and diabetes. Download paper here
Recommended citation: Jacqueline Craig, Charles C. Moul, and Gregory T. Niemesh. (2020) “Do menu-labelling laws translate into results? The disparate impacts on population obesity and diabetes,” Applied Econonimcs, 52(14); 1592-1605.