Government proposes calorie labelling on restaurant and cafe menus

The RCPCH responds to the Government's calorie label consultation, saying that it is one important measure aimed at bucking the current obesity trend.

The introduction of calorie labels to give families an informed choice over what they eat in restaurants, cafes and takeaways will be consulted on by the Government, the Public Health Minister announced today.

Calorie labels are already widely available on packaged foods in supermarkets and in some big chains including Wetherspoons and Subway. The new plans are intended to make sure that families know how much they and their children are eating when they eat out.
Evidence shows that overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults, who have a high risk of developing health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, strokes and heart disease.

In response to the government consultation, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“We know an obese child is more likely to be an obese adult and chapter two of the Government’s childhood obesity plan set out a number of proposals which aim to buck this trend by supporting families to make healthier food choices: today’s calorie labelling announcement is just one of these important measures.

"As a College we are fully supportive of the Government’s preventative approach but we’d also like them to support those children who are already obese by providing timely access to weight management services. This two pronged approach could catapult Government to world leader status when it comes to obesity reduction, setting them well on their way to meeting their ambitious target of reducing the number of obese children by half by 2030.”