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UK requires cafes and restaurants to put calorie count on menus

The UK Government has made calorie labelling mandatory for all restaurants, pubs and cafes with 250 or more employees from April 2022.

Under the new rule, large out-of-home food businesses in the UK will be required to display calorie information on menus and food labels.

English cafes, restaurants and takeaways will have to display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drink items that are prepared for customers.

The new initiative is part of the government’s wider strategy to tackle obesity. The move aims to allow people to make more informed decisions when eating food outside the home or ordering takeaways.

UK Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families, both in restaurants and at home.

“That is why we want to make sure everyone has access to accurate information about the food and drink we order.

“These measures form an important building block in our strategy to support and encourage people in achieving and maintaining a healthier weight.”

Calorie information must be showcased to the customer in physical menus, online menus, food delivery platforms and food labels.

The COVID-19 pandemic is said to have highlighted the impact that obesity can have on people’s health.

Overweight and obesity-related conditions among people in the UK are estimated to cost $8.5bn (£6.1bn) to the National Health Service (NHS) each year.

Nearly, two-thirds of adults in England are said to be overweight or living with obesity, and one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese.

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