A fast food restaurant executive reports that a calorie disclosure provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may force his company to spend $1.5 million on replacing menu boards.

Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc., Carpinteria, Calif., was one of the witnesses who appeared today at a hearing on PPACA organized by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

CKE owns or franchises about 3,200 Hardees and Carl’s Jr. restaurants in 42 states and 23 foreign countries, Puzder said.

CKE has been posting calorie and fat content on posters on its restaurant walls for years, Puzder said.

But PPACA Section 4205 will still cost CKE an amount equal to 17% of the amount it spent on new restaurant development in 2010, Puzder said.

PPACA Section requires chains with 20 or more restaurants that use menu boards to “disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner” the “the number of calories contained in the standard menu item,” Puzder said.

A restaurant with a drive-through window must post the same information on the drive-through menu board, and a drive-through menu is too small to include that information, Puzder said.

“The amount we would be forced to spend on new menu boards would support the opening of 1 to 1.5 new restaurants and the creation of up to 37 jobs in the restaurants and many more jobs outside the restaurant,” Puzder said. “We would obviously prefer to spend these monies building new restaurants.”

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