74% of consumers favor menu-labeling laws, study finds

CHICAGO Nearly three out of four adults want restaurants to be required by law to post a nutritional analysis of every item listed on their menus or menu boards, according to data released Tuesday by Technomic Inc.

In a survey of 2,500 consumers, the researcher also found that the public wants more than the items' calorie content to be posted. Seventy-four percent of the respondents said they support regulations mandating full nutritional disclosure on menus, compared with 71 percent who said they favor the listing of calorie counts.

The survey was conducted in the wake of New York City's enactment of a law requiring some restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. The mandate applies to any place that already offers nutritional information through other means, such as in a brochure or on a website.

On July 19, Washington state's King County passed a law that will require chain restaurants there to list calorie, fat, sodium and carbohydrate content on menus and menu boards, beginning Aug. 1, 2008.