Government launches public consultation on calorie labelling when eating out

In a bid to better educate consumers about the calorie content of food and drink they consume when dining out, the government has launched a public consultation initiative where consumers are asked for their views on whether pubs, restaurants and takeaways should display calorie information for their products.

The consultation will ask consumers for their views regarding:

  • Which businesses should display calorie information
  • What additional information should be displayed
  • Where this information should be displayed
  • How businesses can put this into practice

The report states:

“The purpose of calorie labelling is to make sure that people have clear and accurate information about the calorie content of the food and drink that they and their families are eating when dining out, so that they can make informed and healthy choices for themselves and their children.

“Nearly one in four children in England are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school, and this rises to one in three by the time they leave primary school.”

Those who want to know more information about the consultation or want to be a part of the discussion can do so by visiting the government website here.

The Government has been debating the implementation of compulsory calorie labelling for food and drink sold in pubs and restaurants for a number of years, however, this move has been widely critiqued by industry representatives including UKHospitality that say mandatory calorie labelling could represent a substantial impact on the hospitality sector, putting small businesses the at the most risk.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) however support the government’s move. RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said, “We know that nutritional labelling provides an effective measure when helping individuals, parents and families to make healthier choices, and it is absolutely right that the government has launched this consultation on calorie labelling in places serving food and drink outside of the home.

“While we welcome these proposals, the Government must also continue to take forward other measures to tackle our increasingly ‘obesogenic environment’ including measures to encourage manufacturers to reformulate their product range, supporting Local Authorities to clamp down on the clustering of fast food takeaways and tackling price promotions and marketing of unhealthy products.”

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