SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – On Saturday, chain restaurants across the nation, like McDonalds and Denny’s, will have to post the calorie count of items they serve to the public.

The new regulation is a feather in the cap of Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss who first introduced her idea four years ago.

The new rule was a little-known provision that was added to the Health Care Reform Bill, signed into law by President Obama back in March.

According to the Federal law, any chain restaurant with 20 outlets or more must post the calorie information on their menu boards.

Kniss said it’s a great idea despite being accused of “nanny-ism”. She added that this kind of honesty and reporting is successfully being promoted.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig:

“I think this gives the public a fabulous opportunity to really know what they’re eating; understand what’s in it and make their own decision,” she said.

Kniss added if you don’t care about what you eat- so be it, but that after a while you might want to know about what’s in the food you’re eating especially if you’re struggling with your weight, diabetes or heart disease.

“We’re not trying to spoil your fun, believe me. What we are trying to do is help you feel better especially in the New Year when everybody’s talking about losing weight,” said Kniss.

Some chain stores already have caloric information posted on a wall, but this law makes it mandatory to add that data to the actual menu board.

Here in California informational brochures will also have to be handed out to customers.

Officials with the National Restaurant Association said they approve of national standards for menu labeling.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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