On Thursday 22nd July, the Government passed legislation to make calorie labelling compulsory. This applies to larger takeaways, chains and restaurants.
We're pleased to see the passing of this law, which represents a significant step forward for us all. The rules mean it will become easier to make healthy choices about the food and drink we buy whilst out and about.
We have been calling for this policy as part of our Food Upfront campaign since 2018. It would not have happened without the support of thousands of Diabetes UK campaigners.
Helen Kirrane, who is Head of Policy, Campaigns and Mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said:
“Obesity is the single greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and there are an estimated 13.6 million people at increased risk of developing type 2 in the UK. Tackling this health crisis is vital, and we’re delighted to see mandatory calorie labelling pass through Parliament.
"We have campaigned for these measures for several years through our Food Upfront campaign. This is an important step forward in creating an environment where making the healthy choice becomes the easy choice. This legislation brings large businesses such as cafes, restaurants and takeaways more in line with the food retail sector, as they'll give people clear calorie information. It will also encourage businesses to make their menus healthier.
“This is an important start, and we now need to see the Government fully put in place and build on the measures set out in the Obesity Strategy to address rising levels of obesity across the UK.”
Upcoming changes to tackle obesity
The Health and Care Bill that is passing through Parliament at the moment includes plans to restrict how less healthy food and drinks are advertised. This means that foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar will be banned from being advertised online and before 9pm on television . This will help to make sure children are not exposed to this harmful marketing.
The Government is also planning to introduce rules to restrict shops in England from promoting unhealthy foods. This means shops won't be able to include these foods in multi-buy promotions. They also won't be able to keep unhealthy foods by tills, store entrances or at the end of aisles.
We will continue to campaign for effective policies to address rising levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes.