When you look at the menu of your favorite chain restaurant you  might be noticing a lot more numbers besides the price. A Louisiana Senate Committee passed a bill on to the full body of the Senate yesterday that would require chain restaurants to post nutritional information, including the amount of calories, beside each item for sale. By definition according to the bill a chain restaurant is an establishment that has 15 or more locations, one of which is located in Louisiana.

Those who support the bill suggest that the expanded information would give Louisiana consumers more information and hopefully help them make better eating choices. The committee pointed to Louisiana's poor health showing in recent surveys related to obesity and smoking as good reasons for the inclusion of this information.

Those opposed to the legislation feel that this will have a  negative effect on restaurants. The changes required might be too onerous on establishments and that could mean a loss of  jobs.  A representative of the Louisiana Restaurant Association indicated the trade group could be supportive of legislation of this type but more information would be needed to see exactly what impact a change in the law might have.

The bill will now be passed on to the full Senate for debate and discussion. The authors of the bill ,Sen. David Heitmeier, does think the bill will undergo several changes before final wording is agreed upon.