Do you agree with adding calorie counts to menus?
As part of the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, the Government announced plans for restaurants, cafes and pubs with more than 250 employees to put calorie details on their menus.
However, some have voiced their concern as they believe the plan will negatively affect people with eating disorders.
Beat carried out a survey of 1,118 people with an existing or past eating disorder, or those caring for them, and found that 93% felt the move would have a negative or very negative impact on them and some 89% said they did not support the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling.
One respondent said: “The thought of seeing the calories on menus makes me feel so sick, and sends me straight back into the depths of my eating disorder.
“It’s going to affect so many people and, instead of helping, will only make the mental health crisis worse.”
A parent said: “Going out to eat during my daughter’s recovery was a big step. Without doubt, having calories printed on the menu would have made this virtually impossible. The two together would not have worked.”
Beat has launched a new campaign asking members of the public to write to their MP to voice concerns, with more than 4,000 people taking part so far.
However, Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, says: “Pub, restaurant and cinema chains need to be displaying calorie counts so consumers and parents have a more informed choice and a better understanding of how healthy a particular snack, meal or drink is.
“At a time when two-thirds of adults and more than a fifth of four and five-year-olds are obese or overweight, helping people make more informed choices about what they eat will clearly also help tackle the obesity crisis we face as a nation.”
Do you believe adding calorie counts to menus will help with the fight against obesity? Or perhaps you agree with the charity that it may negatively impact those living with eating disorders?
What are your views?
We'd love to hear your comments
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