Concern about the United States’ population’s weight gain has led to a variety of policy proposals about how best to deal with what is often referred to as the “fattening of America.”

One proposal receiving increased prominence is requiring restaurants to include on their menus or menu boards the fat, sodium, and calorie counts for all of their offerings. The California legislature recently passed a law requiring menu labeling, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who termed it impractical and inflexible. Congress has considered the Menu Education and Labeling Act, which would require chain restaurants with twenty or more outlets to provide certain nutritional information. The Food and Drug Administration has also begun studying whether national standards for provision of nutritional information on restaurant menus are necessary, and New York City has reintroduced its menu labeling legislation after the original statue was overturned.