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Bid to Print Nutrition Facts on Menus Raises Debate

Lee Hochberg reports on the debate in some cities and states over laws that would require restaurants to display nutritional information on their menus. Lawmakers hope the policy would benefit diners with certain health conditions, while restaurant owners are concerned about additional costs.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, nutritional information on restaurant menus. NewsHour correspondent Lee Hochberg of Oregon Public Broadcasting has our story.

  • LEE HOCHBERG, NewsHour Correspondent:

    At the Iris Grill near Seattle, Michael Brown eyed the pan-roasted, free-range chicken on the menu.

  • LORI BROWN:

    I think I'm going to do seafood, but I'm not sure.

  • LEE HOCHBERG:

    His wife, Lori, considered the salmon with sautéed bacon and spinach. But as good as the menu looked, it didn't tell the couple what they needed to know.

  • LORI BROWN:

    I'm a little concerned about the fat content, you know, how they prepare it. It's got bacon in it, so…

  • MICHAEL BROWN:

    I'm debating on the chicken.

  • LORI BROWN:

    Is there a sauce on it or…

  • MICHAEL BROWN:

    Yes, it says chicken glaze, but I don't know what's in it.

  • LEE HOCHBERG:

    Michael has Type II diabetes. Like 18 million Americans — including his father, who died of the disease — he has to watch his diet. And Lori recently discovered she's one of more than 100 million Americans with high cholesterol.

  • LORI BROWN:

    It's more of a Russian roulette, because you don't know exactly how much is in each dish, how much fat, how many fat grams, how many carbs for him.

  • MICHAEL BROWN:

    You're truly kind of at a loss as to exactly what you're eating.

  • LORI BROWN:

    On this salmon, it's got bacon. How much bacon is it, just the — I'm just trying to figure out how much fat is actually in it…