California Fast Food Restaurants to List Calories
California became the first US state to pass a law that requires fast-food restaurants with more than 20 locations to list calorie information on their menus, in an effort to curb the obesity epidemic.
Starting July 1 next year, chains with more than 20 locations must offer brochures with calorie and nutritional information. By January 1, 2011, they must list calorie information on menus and indoor menu boards.
"California is continuing to lead the nation with programs and policies that promote health and nutrition," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. The former Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe bodybuilder signed the bill into law in front of a Chili's restaurant.
Labeling rules have been passed by local legislators in a number of counties, including San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo, but this new bill will supersede those laws.
Many other states have been considering similar legislation, and New York City implemented a calorie information rule earlier this year. The state of California announced that its residents had collectively gained 360 million pounds in the past 10 years - a staggering number, so hopefully this initiative is successful in addressing the ongoing problem of obesity and can be useful on a national scale (pun intended).