Calories on menus damaging

A survey has suggested that more than 8 in 10 people (84%) people affected by eating disorders believe the introduction of calories on menus has negatively affected their recovery.

Charity Beat’s survey marks a year since food businesses with 250 or more employees in England, including cafes, restaurants and takeaways, have been required to display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drinks prepared for customers as part of the Government’s drive to tackle obesity.

Almost 9 in 10 people (88%) said that seeing calorie counts affected their menu choices, while respondents also reported that measures put in place to mitigate harm, such as allowing restaurants to provide a calorie-free menu on request, caused embarrassment and encourages unwanted questions about their eating disorder. Some 7 in 10 now ate out less frequently to avoid outlets which list calorie counts, while another 70% did not think it is possible for calorie labelling on menus to be introduced in a way that does not pose risks to people living with eating disorders.

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