LGA calls for restaurant chains to publish calorie information

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the government to require pub, restaurant and cinema chains to publish the calorie content of their food and drink.

According the the LGA, chains with more than 20 outlets should clearly display calorie counts on menus and counters to give customers a more ’informed choice’.

The LGA claims that this should form a component of the government’s child obesity strategy, referencing a similar calorie count scheme that has been running in New York since 2008 with the backing of the city’s restaurant industry.

Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's community well-being spokesperson, said: "Pub, restaurant and cinema chains need to be displaying calorie counts so consumers and parents have a more informed choice and a better understanding of how healthy a particular snack, meal or drink is.

"Food and drink with high calorie content is clearly a factor behind obesity, and the subsequent health problems it can cause. We want the government to require major retailers to make their customers fully aware of how many calories they are eating or drinking.

"Clear and prominent signs indicating the number of calories in a product should be mandatory. We need to take bold action in changing our environment if we are to beat obesity, and that includes when we're sitting at a table in a restaurant reading a menu or ordering at the counter."