Should calories be added to menus?

Should calories be added to menus? The Scottish government is inviting the public to have its say on the matter.

According to Scottish Government, it is inviting the public to: “have its say on plans to add the number of calories to menus in the out of home food sector including cafes, restaurants and takeaways.” The government announced on April 8, that it would be opening a 12-week consultation programme.

The consultation programme will be used to decide whether the Scottish government should make it a legal requirement for menus to include the number of calories.

Public Health Minister Maree Todd explained: “Before the pandemic, people living in Scotland were consuming more and more food and drink out of home or ordering it in. Whether it’s breakfast at a roadside café, grabbing a lunchtime soup and sandwich from a local convenience store or ordering food online from a restaurant, most of us were increasingly buying food outside the home – a trend I expect to resume as we recover from the pandemic.

“Two-thirds of the population living in Scotland is recorded as living with overweight or obesity – a key factor in our plan to address this is calorie labelling. We know that giving people more information, such as the number of calories in meals will enable people to make healthier choices when eating out, or ordering in. This is not novel practice – calories are already required on retail food purchases and calorie labelling for out of home sites is mandated in many other countries.

“Many food companies in Scotland have already taken this significant step voluntarily.  We want to learn from those experiences and I would urge everyone to share their thoughts in this consultation.”

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) Head of Nutrition Science and Policy Dr Gillian Purdon stated:

“We welcome the launch of the Scottish Government’s consultation on mandatory calorie labelling for the out of home sector.”

Dr Purdon went on to add: “FSS has long proposed the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling as part of a suite of recommendations to address the nation’s poor diet. Alongside the consultation, we published the findings of two reports which highlight that overall, calorie information at point of choice can reduce the amount of calories ordered or consumed.

“With eating out is now an everyday occurrence and nearly a quarter of our calories coming from food and drink purchased outside of home, mandatory calorie labelling is one way to support people to make healthier options.”


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Alex
Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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