Commentary: Calorie counts on menus mean better decisions

It's a lot easier to face the nutritional reality of what you're eating if the facts are presented in a place where they're hard to avoid. That's why we're happy that California has become the first state to require chain restaurants to disclose the calorie counts of almost everything on their menus.

The mandate came from a bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, who contends that it will be a valuable weapon in our floundering national war against obesity.

If so, it will be a weapon that will be deployed only at your favorite chains. The measure applies to restaurants with 20 or more eateries in California, a total of about 17,000 locations statewide. Buffet-style restaurants are excluded, on the perhaps optimistic assumption that diners there can control the size of their portions.

The cold, hard nutritional facts of the eateries that fall under the law will be rolled out in two stages.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.