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New Health-Reform Law Requires Calorie Info on Menus

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The new health-care reform bill to be signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama will require calorie information on menus and menu boards at more than 200,000 fast-food and other chain restaurants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be directed to establish a new national standard for menu labeling at restaurants with more than 20 locations. The federal standard will supersede state and local laws, the Associated Press reported.

Currently, many restaurants post nutritional details in a hallway, on a food wrapper or on a Web site. The goal of the new law is to make that information available as customers are ordering their food.

"The nutrition information is right on the menu or menu board next to the name of the menu item, rather than in a pamphlet or in tiny print on a poster, so that consumers can see it when they are making ordering decisions," said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the AP reported. Harkin wrote the provision.

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