Schwarzenegger Considers Bill on Menu Information
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is considering legislation (SB 120) by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Van Nuys) to require chain restaurants to disclose certain nutritional information about food items on menus, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Under the measure, restaurants with at least 15 locations in California would be required to display:
- Saturated fats; and
- Trans fats.
Alcohol and special items would be exempted from the mandate.
Padilla said his bill is "fundamental in assuring Californians' health care." He added, "This is one of those laws that can change the world ... Once this information is available to a consumer, we can ensure healthier eating by Americans."
The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society support the measure, and polls show that more than 80% of California residents back it.
The California Restaurant Association opposes the legislation. The organization said the measure "places an onerous and intrusive burden on restaurateurs that will have no effect on obesity rates and opens the door for frivolous lawsuits."
Schwarzenegger's office has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.
Experts expect him to sign the measure, citing his support to ban junk foods from schools and his background as chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and co-leader for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Wood/Tully, Christian Science Monitor, 9/18). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.