Calories are being shown on menus, but what does it mean for health?

A year ago, the government announced that large chain restaurants will be expected to print calorie counts on their menus. Pitched as part of their plan to tackle obesity in the UK, the move means any restaurant with over 250 employees had to reprint their menus last week. 

With the law coming into effect, lots of people are questioning whether displaying the calorific value of meals could do more harm than good. We ask: what does it really mean for our health?

On the announcement of the policy, former Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “We aim to make it as easy as possible for people to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families, both in restaurants and at home. These measures form an important building block in our strategy to support and encourage people in achieving and maintaining a healthier weight.”

In a recent Public Health England Survey on calorie reduction, 79% of respondents said they think menus should include the number of calories in food and drink. Surely though we all need to understand what a calorie is before they are plastered all over the menus in some of our favourite restaurants.