UK Government denies seeking ‘calorie caps’ on restaurant food

Public Health England (PHE) has denied rumours that the UK government is planning to enforce “calorie caps” in restaurants, after it was widely reported in the national media.

(Photo: alle12/iStock)

PHE’s chief nutritionist Alison Tedstone was quoted in the Times on Sunday, saying that “people eat 200-300 calories too many a day . . . We will work with the industry to reduce the calories in everyday food.”

Tedstone said that more than a quarter (27%) of the UK’s population are obese, while 36% are overweight. She added that meals out are behind our ballooning weight.

“This is all about things like pizzas and ready-made sandwiches. We will need to set out guidelines and, I suspect, a series of calorie caps.”

But a spokesperson from the government health body has denied the story, telling Big Hospitality that the quotes were “misinterpreted.”

The original report also claimed that PHE would work with UK restaurants, fast-food venues and supermarkets to bring breakfasts and lunches down to 400 and 600 calories respectfully.

The government denied this. Instead, a spokesperson said the information is based on a campaign set to launch in March which will see PHE encouraging restaurants to promote meals under 600 calories.

The campaign will specifically target restaurants serving fast food alongside supermarket ready meals.

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