Calorie Counting Part of Health Care Reform Bill

By Mari Payton
|  Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010  |  Updated 6:14 AM PDT
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A little-known provision within the Health Care Reform Bill might have you thinking twice about ordering a high-calorie margarita.

A requirement tucked into the bill will affect thousands of restaurants and will be hard for consumers to ignore. Soon you will be able to see exactly how many fat grams, calories and carbs are in your food and alcoholic beverages.

California already has a food labeling law in place. But the one President Barack Obama signed Tuesday, would create a new national standard, applying to restaurant chains with 20 locations or more nationwide.

Katie Hansen, with the California Restaurant Association said, "In California you would have to have 20 units in the state to be required for labeling and it did not include alcoholic beverages. With the nationwide standard if you are national chain with 20 units or more you be required to do so."
 
It would also require calorie counts from vending machines, buffets, and drive thru restaurants.
 
It could take some time before you actually see the change. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in charge of enforcing the new law and will have a year to write the new rules.

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