Why calorie counts on menus could actually be worse for our health

According to the NHS calorie checker, a Big Mac burger from McDonald’s is 508 energy, however a jacket potato with cheese and a aspect salad from Sainsbury’s Cafe is 625 energy.

Prof Flint mentioned menus displaying the excessive fats, salt and sugar content material of meals can be extra useful in serving to folks make the appropriate decisions, and calorie counts alone “will not be a silver bullet” to tackling weight problems.

Almost a 3rd (28 per cent) of the grownup inhabitants in England is overweight, and greater than a 3rd (36 per cent) are chubby, based on a 2019 NHS survey.

It is estimated that chubby and obesity-related circumstances price the NHS £6.1 billion annually.

Calorie labels on menus, which varieties a part of the Government’s wider efforts to fight obesity, have been launched to assist customers make extra knowledgeable, more healthy decisions when consuming out or ordering takeaways.

But Henry Dimbleby, the chief of the Government’s National Food Strategy, mentioned the brand new technique could have little impact on diners’ habits.

Learning to ‘handle your urge for food’ is extra useful

Speaking to The Telegraph, he mentioned educating folks to “handle your urge for food” can be extra useful than calorie counting.

“The downside that’s going unsuitable… is the junk meals cycle, which is the interplay between our developed appetites and business incentives of firms, and extremely calorific meals low in fibre. We eat extra of it earlier than we get full, we search it out,” he mentioned.

“Actually, in case you are somebody who’s unfortunate sufficient to have the genes [where] you wrestle along with your weight, specializing in what you eat, and the standard of what you eat, in addition to the energy is vital.”

Mr Dimbleby proposed new taxes on sugar and salt as a part of his National Food Strategy to encourage producers to decrease the degrees of their merchandise.

Ministers have mentioned the adjustments will give folks extra info to make “knowledgeable selections when selecting what to eat after they’re out”.

Maggie Throup, the general public well being minister, mentioned small companies additionally must “play their half”.

“While these new legal guidelines don’t apply to them, I need to encourage them to undertake calorie labelling so their clients may make selections which profit them and their family members,” she advised The Telegraph.

“Whether individuals are having fun with a pasty, consuming a sandwich, or having a meal out with family and friends, understanding what number of energy they’re consuming might help them have extra methods to take care of their well being.”


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