The government is looking at ways to help families make healthy choices when they eat in restaurants, cafes or takeaways.
A public consultation has opened to look for ways to introduce calorie labelling for food and drink consumed outside of the home.
The consultation will also seek views on how this could apply to:
- small businesses
- street vendors
- restaurants with fast-changing menus
- online takeaway businesses
Calorie labels are already widely displayed on packaged foods in supermarkets and in some big chains including Wetherspoons and Subway.
The new plans are intended to make sure that labelling is applied consistently so that families know how much they and their children are eating when out.
The plans form part of the government’s wider strategy to halve childhood obesity by 2030.
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.
The proposals have been welcomed by diabetes experts, who said that three-quarters of the British public have told them that they want more information about what’s in the food and drink they buy.
Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “This is not about forcing anyone to eat certain things, or companies to behave in a certain way, but I firmly believe we have a right to know the nutritional content of the food we give to our children.”
Helen Dickens, Assistant Director of Campaigns and Mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said: “People living with diabetes and more than three-quarters of the British public have told us that they want more information about what’s in the food and drink they buy, to help make healthier choices – especially when they’re out and about.
“The UK is facing a type 2 diabetes crisis. With around two-thirds of adults in the UK classed as overweight or obese, and therefore at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions, it’s really important that we have measures in place that make it easier for all of us to lead healthier lives.”