Large UK Restaurant Chains Must Now Display Calorie Count

New calorie labelling rules come into force in the UK. 

© Shutterstock

New calorie labelling in the UK

New calorie labelling rules come into force in the UK. 

© Shutterstock

Compulsory calorie counting 

Under the new regulations, UK restaurants and cafes with 250 or more employees are required to display calorie counts of non-prepacked food and soft drink items on their menus, websites or delivery platforms.

The new rule is part of the Government's strategy to tackle obesity with research showing British  people are eating out and ordering more takeaways than in the past.

Obesity is one of the biggest health issues in the UK. The Health Survey for England 2019 estimates about 64% of adults in England are obese or overweight. According to NHS Digital, there were more than one million admissions to hospitals in 2019/20 where obesity was a factor.

"Waste of time and money"

The mandatory calorie labelling, which was announced by the government in May last year, has received a mixed response.

“What a terrible, terrible thing to happen to the hospitality industry and a waste of time, money and a potential danger,” MasterChef winner Sven Hanson Britt tweeted. 

Many industry leaders believe the new labelling may also be difficult to administer and could negatively affect people with eating disorders. Mandatory menu labelling has already been introduced in some other countries, including the US and parts of Australia.