Calorie counts coming to menus of California restaurants

A McDonald's fast-food restaurant sign glows above the city skyline located in the Figueroa Corridor area of South Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
A McDonald's fast-food restaurant sign glows above the city skyline located in the Figueroa Corridor area of South Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images

How much will that burger and fries cost your waistline? You’ll soon be able to find out before you order. Starting today, a new California law kicks in that requires restaurant chains to post calories on the menu.

Any restaurant chain with 20 or more locations will have to post calorie counts on their menu boards.

The idea behind the law is to give consumers the information they need to order healthier options, if they want.

Some studies suggest having calories posted helps. But others suggest that people still order what they want, regardless of calories.

The new state law does not include the menu in the drive-thru, but a new federal menu-posting law is supposed to include that. It’s expected to kick in around March.

It’s unclear whether the federal and state laws will match up, and which one would trump the other when both are in effect – a sort of fast-food war of a different kind.

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