Pubs, restaurants and cinema chains should display the calorie content of the food and drink they serve on menus or over counters, council leaders say.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said England and Wales should follow the example of the US, where calorie labels were ordered nationwide last year, to combat the growing obesity epidemic. Councils should also be given £1bn in funding, paid for from VAT, to pay for obesity-prevention schemes and to help “millions of overweight children” to shed pounds, the LGA said.
Some retailers in the UK are already displaying calorie counts. But the LGA said the food and drinks industry needed to go further. Councillor Izzi Secombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said restaurant, pub and cinema chains needed to “show leadership in tackling the obesity crisis”.
She added: “In many cases people are unaware of how many calories they are consuming. Food and drink outlets should be doing more to provide clear and prominent labelling which spells this out clearly.”