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What Can States and Local Governments Do About Menu Labeling?

Menu labeling regulatory options

Fact Sheet
Food & Beverages

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed a national menu labeling law as part of healthcare reform. In December 2014, the FDA finalized and published the federal menu labeling rule, which went into effect in May 2018. 

The federal menu labeling rule requires calorie count information to be posted on menus at certain chain restaurants and other venues. Consumers will now know more about their food choices at restaurants that have 20 or more outlets nationally, as well in settings such as sports arenas and movie theaters. The federal rule preempts most, but not all, state and local menu labeling regulation.

ChangeLab Solutions developed this fact sheet to provide information about what regulatory options remain for state and local governments. It answers common questions about how state and local governments can enforce the federal rule and the authority these governments have to implement other menu labeling regulations.