On Tuesday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1420, making California the first state to require restaurant chains with 20 or more locations statewide to post calorie information on menus and indoor menu boards.
“This legislation will help Californians make more informed, healthier choices by making calorie information easily accessible at thousands of restaurants throughout our state,” Schwarzenegger said. “By being the first state to provide this information to consumers, California is continuing to lead the nation with programs and policies that promote health and nutrition.”
SB 1420 requires restaurants to be in compliance by Jan. 1, 2011. Beginning next July, brochures containing either calorie content or other nutritional information (i.e., amounts of saturated fat, carbohydrates, sodium) will be at the point of sale and drive-thrus. The legislation preempts a patchwork of local ordinances to create a uniform statewide standard for displaying nutritional information.
The governor also signed SB 441, which requires those who operate or maintain a vending machine on state property to ensure at least 35% of the food and at least one-third of the beverages offered meet accepted nutritional guidelines by Jan. 1, 2011.
In July, California became the first state to phase out the use of trans fats in all restaurants. You go, Arnold!