Health Law Makes Calorie Counts Hard to Ignore

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A provision tucked in the health care law will require restaurants to put calorie counts on their menus.

The law will apply to any restaurant with at least 20 locations-- which is more than 200,000 chains throughout the U.S.

Many restaurants already publicize nutritional information online or in special brochures. Now, they will have to put that information next to each item on every menu, including drive-thrus.

Health experts say this will help people make healthier choices.

"Once you have the list on the menu that an appetizer has 1,500 calories or a dinner has a whole days worth of calories a lot of people don't want that and the restaurants will offer alternatives," Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in Public Interest said.

The new law also overrides any state and local labeling requirements.

Restaurant chains say that's good news because they have been forced to print different menus based on each state's requirements.

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