Calorie counting for customers – Do the numbers add up?!
For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales has called for calorie data to be included on menus in restaurants, café and pubs
But this is not a new initiative back in 2010 the then health secretary Andrew Lansley wanted information routinely displayed on menus, as a way to encourage people to choose healthier options – and help reduce the estimated £4.5bn annual cost to the NHS of treating patients with diet-related conditions.
It was a voluntary scheme and some food outlets did rise to the challenge; Wetherspoons, being one of them. All of their menus now display calorie information and sometimes it can be very enlightening!
Their full rack of pork ribs is over 2000 calories; a woman’s total calorie intake for the whole day. A tradional cooked breakfast has over 900 calories, but a carrot and coriander soup a mere 130, if you decide to have the Nachos as a starter I suggest you share them and halve the 1400 calories with someone else
The vegetarians amongst us fare rather better when calorie counting but be careful of those sides dishes, coleslaw 186, onion rings 285, garlic ciabatta 254 and a simple bowl of chips nearly 800 calories.
Will all this information put the customer off ordering as much food, will it make them order differently, will it make no difference, or could be done differently? For instance by using the existing traffic light system that we are seeing on labels in supermarkets, or maybe the amounts of salts fats and sugars for instance being represented in teaspoons rather than grams
I asked a women’s networking group (Aspiring Business Women) what they thought about additional information on menus; there responses are I think pretty indicative of most of us
Whether we traffic light menus, give calorie information or just make them healthier in the first place something needs to be done to halt this obesity crisis.
I’ve said this a number of times now but we need to have a co-ordinated and consistent approach to healthy eating, with everybody taking some responsibility
Manufacturers need to produce healthier foods,
Councils need to consider the numbers of fast food outlets that are appearing on our high streets,
supermarkets should shop a full range of healthy products and have a similar amount of offers on fruit and veg as they do on crisps, cakes and sweets
Schools need to educate children about healthy lifestyles like cooking and exercise
and as consumers we need to understand what a healthy balance diet looks like, so we can make informed food choices
I’d love to hear your views on how we can all tackle this growing issue