Health Minister Dr James Reilly has told the country’s restaurateurs that they have six months to display the calorie content of the food they serve or he will introduce legislation requiring them to do so.
The Food Safely Authority (FSA) feels restaurant calorie counts are an important tool in the effort to tackle the obesity epidemic.
Ireland is the second most obese nation in Europe (scary) being just pipped at the post by the Britons. Obesity rates are doubling amongst women and trebling amongst men over the past two decades.
Foods in our supermarkets and shops are displayed on packaging so why not in restaurants?
96% of us support calorie labelling in our restaurants and food outlets. It allows us to make an informed choice.
Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland has argued the introduction of calorie counts saying there is concerns over its reliability as chefs vary the menu in restaurants on a day to day basis leading to inaccurate calorie counting.
Restaurant calorie counts are in truth, a rough guide and it is up to the consumer to make the choice, but in reality this is easier said than done. Good nutrition is derived from a variety of factors incorporating a balanced diet, portion size and the avoidance of excessive sugars.
We eat with our eyes so could menus with detailed calorie counts help deter some of us from pigging out with no regard for the amount of calories consumed………..
Its essential we know what’s in the food we are eating.
Feast or famine –counting calories on our restaurant menus.