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Mandatory calorie labelling in restaurants prompts backlash

Content warning: eating disorders. From April 2022, large food service businesses (including restaurants, cafes and takeaways) in England are required to display calorie information for food intended for immediate consumption. The legislation is part of the government’s strategy to tackle obesity. Critics say the move may make it difficult for people who experience eating disorders to visit restaurants.

Beat, an eating disorder charity, has expressed disappointment in the measure, saying “We know it can increase feelings of guilt for anyone with binge eating disorder.” Beat has published advice for eating in restaurants with calorie labelling.

Meanwhile, over 9000 people have signed a petition calling for menus without calorie information to be available on request, and the No Calorie Project has started to list restaurants that offer optional calorie-free menus.

Read more about the new regulations on the UK government’s website here or here. See also the TABLE explainer How are food systems, diets, and health connected?

If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, on 0808 801 0677 or beateatingdisorders.org.uk

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Publication
29 Apr 2022
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