Calorie Counts on Menus

Calorie counts on menus will help us to cut down on our bad eating habits – Noone

Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Wednesday) said that calorie counts on menus will help us to cut down our bad eating habits and have a healthier diet. Senator Noone was speaking after the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, launched the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s new online calorie calculator (www.menucal.ie).

“Research shows that people eat fewer calories when they are displayed on menus. American studies show that when calories are listed on menus, people ate an average of 152 fewer calories at hamburger venues, and 73 fewer calories at sandwich bars with each purchase. Overall, calorie intake was down 6% per day.

“If calorie intake was reduced by this much in Ireland, it would have a positive impact on our obesity levels and our type 2 diabetes problems. We are facing remarkable problems when it comes to the health of the nation in the years ahead. As such, any preventative measure we can take can and should be welcomed.

“The public are behind this initiative. A recent report found an overwhelming demand by consumers (96%) for calorie menu labelling in all or some food outlets, with 89% saying that calories should be displayed beside the price of food and drink items on the menu.

“Equally, the restaurant industry is supportive of calorie counts; three quarters of food service businesses favour their introduction, and indeed a number of major outlets – such as Starbucks and McDonalds – have already added calories to their menus. Now, the online calculator will make it easy for smaller businesses to follow suit.

“We’re eating outside the home more than ever, whether it’s grabbing a sandwich at lunchtime, or a coffee on the way to work. But in the vast majority of cases, we are oblivious to the amount of calories we are consuming where we are on the go. Calorie counts on menus are vital if people are to make more informed choices about what they eat.”

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