The Caterer

Restaurants and pubs urged to display calorie counts on menus

Restaurants and pubs urged to display calorie counts on menus

Restaurants and pubs are being urged by council leaders to display US-style calories signs in a bid to tackle Britain's obesity crisis.

Representing more than 370 councils, which are now responsible for public health, the Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for voluntary action from hospitality and cinema operators.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA's community wellbeing board, urged cinema, restaurant and pub chains to "step up to the plate and show leadership in tackling the obesity crisis".

She said: "In many cases, people are unaware of how many calories they are consuming. Food and drink outlets should be doing more to provide clear and prominent labelling which spells this out clearly.

"This is all about enabling people to make informed choices about what they eat and drink. Some retailers are already introducing calorie counts and this is a step in the right direction. But the industry needs to go further, faster so people know how many calories their food and drink contains."

A similar scheme is being brought in across the USA, whereby chains of restaurants, cinemas and pizza parlours show calorie counts on their menus.

In addition, the LGA is calling for £1b of existing VAT to be handed to councils to fund local preventative schemes, prevent obesity and ease pressure on the NHS.

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