Eating out gets healthy

UK set to follow New York's example and force restaurant chains to include calorie and fat information on their menus

Britain could be set to follow New York City’s example and force restaurant chains to include calorie and fat information on their menus.

Regular visitors to the Big Apple will already be familiar with chains like Starbucks and Pret a Manger including calorie info on all their menus, but now the UK could follow suit after the Food Standards Agency revealed it is in talks with 50 of the country’s largest food chains to follow suit.

If all goes to plan, those on board could start publishing calorie information on their menus as early as the summer.

‘We’re used to seeing nutritional information when we’re shopping and there’s no compelling reason why we should not have more consistent information when we eat out,’ the Food Standards Agency’s chief executive, Tim Smith, said. ‘We all know about the problem of obesity and this could help tackle that.’

A poll last year showed that 85% of Brits were in favour of food chains displaying nutritional information about their menus, while follow-up focus groups showed point-of-sale info the easiest and most effective way of delivering it.

So far, the FSA claim ‘about half a dozen’ chains have signed on to support the measure, although they can’t say who they are.

‘At the moment consumers are completely in the dark, so the provision of more nutrition information should be welcomed,’ Anna Glayzer, of the Food Commission, told the BBC.

‘However, we want to see this information provided by more than a handful of companies on a voluntary basis.’

Do you think all catering chains should publish nutritional information at the till? Will it change your eating habits? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below…

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