July 1, 2009

Calif. eatery chains must detail calories

California law now says all restaurant chains with at least 20 locations in the state must now offer calorie counts for most of their items.

The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News said Wednesday the new state law went into effect this week and nearly 17,000 of California's 80,000 restaurants will likely be impacted by its regulations.

The call for calorie information on those restaurants' menus was led by state Sen. Alex Padilla, who created the law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Restaurant managers appeared divided regarding the new state law, with some applauding the support for healthier eating habits and others tabbing the law as questionable governmental oversight.

They shouldn't be dictating what we eat,'' Race Street Seafood Kitchen manager Mike Murphy said. This is just the first step. Next they'll be telling us we can't eat fish and chips."

I think it's good to have the information out there, said Craig Guynes, a general manager at a Hooters location in Campbell, Calif. People are smart enough to figure out that if they're eating a 50-ounce steak, it has more calories than a salad.