Calories in restaurant and pub food 'should be displayed'

Food Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Food may contain hidden calories

Every restaurant, pub and cinema chain should be displaying the calorie content of their food and drink, council leaders have said.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says some UK outlets already do so, but the industry must do more.

A mandatory scheme in the US has given large restaurant chains until the end of 2016 to put calorie counts on menus.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has called for voluntary action.

Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA's community well-being board, said: "We are calling on cinema, restaurant and pub chains to step up and show leadership in tackling the obesity crisis, by providing clear and graphic signs at counters and on menus.

"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."

More than 3.5 million children in Britain are classed as overweight or obese, the LGA said.

It said research showed that soft drinks were the biggest contributor to children's sugar intake.

A report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition has advised the government to halve the current recommended intake of free sugars from 10% to 5%.

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