Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has called for more restaurants to make calorie information available to customers by publishing it on their menus.
Businesses should voluntarily establish a target date by which they will set out the nutritional value of products for consumers, Mr Lansley said.
The first firms to introduce calorie counts, including Burger King, Pizza Hut and Pret A Manger, did so with few problems, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which is to unveil 33 companies that decreased their portion sizes and changed the ingredients in some of their products. They include coffee outlet Costa, which now offers lower fat sandwiches and muffins.
Mr Lansley said: “Our aim is to give people the help and advice they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and I want to make it as easy as possible for them to do that. That’s why we’re working with industry to bring in calorie information on menus.
“As a nation we are too unhealthy. We cost the NHS billions of pounds a year through bad diet, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices. We can and we must improve this.”
Copyright © Press Association 2010