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Calorie counters on the menu

Food companies show calorie content on menus


Almost a third of people’s food budget is spent on food consumed outside the home

Today firms including Burger King, Pizza Hut and KFC have signed up to a government-backed scheme to display the calorie content in food on their menus.

A total of 17 restaurant chains and catering companies have pledged to give consumers more information about what they are eating.

The guidelines drawn up by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department of Health include clearly displaying the number of calories in each portion in writing at least as big as the name and price of the product.

Better nutritional information

By the end of June, 350 outlets across the country will have menus carrying calorie information and more companies are expected to join the scheme in the coming months.

Tim Smith, chief executive of the FSA, said: ‘We are really pleased that such a diverse range of companies has agreed to work with us by introducing calorie labelling at the crucial point where their customers make a decision about what to eat.

‘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.’

Healthy diets

Sue Davies, Chief Policy Adviser at Which? welcomed the move, saying: ‘This is great news for consumers who are eating on-the-go. People spend almost a third of their food budget on food eaten outside the home so we need more companies to sign up to this scheme.

‘Four out of five people want to follow a healthier diet. Their intentions shouldn’t have to be compromised just because they want a speedy snack.’

High Street favourites such as Pret A Manger, staff canteens and supermarket cafes are just some of the companies which have signed up to the scheme.

For more information on a healthy diet see our healthy eating campaign.

© 2009 The Press Association

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