California Assembly Passes Menu Labeling Legislation

The California Assembly has passed legislation that will require chain outlets with 15 or more locations to place calorie info on fast food menu boards and nutrition information on restaurant menus. The rule applies only to standard menu items and not to daily specials or custom orders.

The legislation is similar to controversial regulations in New York City and King County, Washington, but if Governor Schwarzenegger signs this bill, California will be the first state to make nutrition information on menu boards a requirement.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is happy about the bill:

“Without nutrition information at the point of decision-making in chain restaurants, it’s hard for people to make informed choices for themselves and their children,” said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at CSPI. “Who would expect that some coffee drinks at Starbucks have more calories than a Big Mac, or that a tuna salad sub from Subway has more calories than a roast beef sub?”

It’s a good question, Margo. Until the CSPI made a mock-up of the Starbucks menu board, we really had no idea that a Venti Vanilla Bean Frappucino had 600 calories. A Big Mac has 540.

California Legislature Passes Historic Menu Labeling Bill [CSPI]

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