Value of Restaurant Menu Calorie Counts Questioned
Restaurant menus to display calorie counts
17 firms will trial the scheme
Hundreds of food outlets will start displaying calorie information on menus later this month, ministers say.
It comes after surveys showed the public wanted more information about the food they buy. A poll of 2,000 people by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2008 found85%were in favour of catering outlets displayingnutritional data.
A first wave of17 firmswill trial the scheme, aimed at getting people toeat healthily. High street chains including Pizza Hut and Burger King have signed up, along with staff canteens. Outlets taking part will display the information on menus, boards or shelves depending on how people choose the food.
The move is similar to a labelling system introduced in New York last year. The FSA and government are also thought to be in talks with a host of other companies to expand the numbers.
FSA chief executive Tim Smith said: ‘We are pleased that such a diverse range of companies has agreed to work with us. Our aim is to ensure that consumers have better information so they can make informed choices toimprove their dietwhen eating out.’
Public health minister Dawn Primarolo added: ‘I want to see more catering companies join this ground-breaking first group to help their customers makehealthier choices.’
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said: ‘It’s really important for us to know what’s in the food we’re eating. This is a big step forwards for public health.
Video: Restaurants have to display calorie counts
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