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Restaurants Will Now Be Forced To Put Calorie Counts On Menus, Government Announces

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Restaurants Will Now Be Forced To Put Calorie Counts On Menus, Government Announces

The government has today announced plans for restaurants, cafés and pubs to put calorie counts on menus.

The new laws, announced as part of the Queen's speech on Tuesday, will see make it compulsory for businesses with over 250 employees to add a calorie label to the food the serve.

Large hospitality businesses will now have to label calories on their menus (Credit: Unsplash)
Large hospitality businesses will now have to label calories on their menus (Credit: Unsplash)

While drinks were also meant to be labelled, it appears the government has ditched plans to tell punters the amount of calories in their pints.

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A briefing note accompanying the Queen's Speech read: "The government will introduce secondary legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses with 250 or more employees to calorie label the food they sell."

The Prime Minister's official spokesperson said the plan set out in the Queen's speech will be "focusing on food."

"We've listened to the feedback from the consultation and we think this is the right approach to take forward now, and that's why we will set out more detail in a consultation response which is coming out later," they told journalists.

However, there are fears the new legislation may be detrimental to hospitality (Credit: Pexels)
However, there are fears the new legislation may be detrimental to hospitality (Credit: Pexels)
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However, there is expected to be a significant backlash from both the hospitality sector and mental health groups about the change in rules.

Having previously voiced concerns about the plans in 2018, eating disorder charity Beat's Director of External Affairs, Tom Quinn, said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Government has continued with their plans to introduce calories on menus, despite clear evidence it is ineffective and dangerous to people affected by eating disorders.

"We urge parliamentarians to protect people with eating disorders and oppose this legislation."

Research by the charity, conducted in 2018, found that the introduction of calories on menus has minimal effect on tackling childhood obesity.

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Eating disorder charity BEAT also voiced their concern (Credit: Pexels)
Eating disorder charity BEAT also voiced their concern (Credit: Pexels)

However, the proposed laws "would exacerbate eating disorder thoughts and behaviours, and increase distress for those with eating disorders."

The government has previously announced it will restrict promotions on high fat, salt and sugar food and drinks in retailers from April 2022.

They will also introduce a ban on junk food adverts before 9am on TV, alongside a total ban online.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: government, UK News, Tasty Food, Food & Drink, Tasty, Politics

Kimberley Bond
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