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Menu calorie counting begins

6th April 2009

Are you concerned about calories? Graham Satchell investigates the drive to show the number of calories contained in the pizzas and burgers we eat.


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Eighteen restaurant chains in the UK, including Pizza Hut and Burger King, have started to show how many calories are in the food they sell, by listing amounts on their menus and display boards.

The Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are the originators of the idea, which is aimed at curbing growing obesity levels.

Tim Smith, chief executive of the FSA, said: "Our aim is to ensure that consumers have better information so they can make informed choices to improve their diet when eating out, whether that is a snack on the go, a meal in a staff restaurant or at a table being served by a waiter."

Restaurant chains in the UK have already started to list calorie amounts on their websites. The recommended number of daily calories for a woman is 2,000 and for a man is 2,500.

The move has sparked a hostile response from some areas of the catering industry.

Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, which represents 30,000 restaurants and catering firms, says: "The sector is having its most difficult trading in 40 years and the last thing we want is anything that is an added cost to the business."

 

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