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California Will Require Chains to Post Nutritional Facts

Will diners consider their health before ordering a super-sized hamburger value meal? California legislators are betting on it: Last night, the state became the first to require restaurant chains to post nutritional information for their menu items.

By 2011, roughly 17,000 chain restaurants will be required to post the fat, calories, salt, and carbohydrate values where customers can readily see them. Alternatively, they can hand out brochures with the information. Said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

When people go to the grocery store now . . . they can already read the labels and make informed decisions about what they eat. But now they will also have that pleasure when they go to the restaurant.

While the bill currently only applies to chains with 20 restaurants or more, it sets a precedent for imposing more health regulations on the restaurant industry, and sets the example for other states to follow suit. Do you predict this measure will change the way America eats? Will customers alter their eating habits because of menu labeling — or will people just eat what they want?


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