The Chief Medical Officer has today published a report containing a series of proposals aimed at tackling childhood obesity.
But UKHospitality, the authoritative voice for the hospitality sector, has warned against the introduction of a calorie cap for out-of-home dining.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A blanket cap on calories for all portions of food and drink consumed out-of-home sounds like a knee-jerk, impractical and unfair measure.
“Such a cap would cause problems for businesses, not to mention the obvious reduction in choice for customers and restricting of personal freedoms for adults who should be able to choose for themselves.”
Among the proposals are a calorie cap per serving of food and drink sold by the out-of-home food sector and a review of VAT rates on food and drink.
Nicholls added a cap on all portions will remove choice for all customers irrespective of age.
Nicholls continued: “We certainly welcome the opportunity for the hospitality sector to work with the Government to tackle childhood obesity.
“Promoting healthier attitudes to food and drink is important for hospitality businesses.
“Reducing the rate of VAT for healthier options on menus could be a good way to promote healthier choices.”
She added: “We would certainly be interested in exploring options to reduce costs for businesses providing healthy food and drink for customers.
"Many businesses have been hammered by increasing costs, so making it cheaper and easier for them to provide healthy options would be a good move.”
UKHospitality is keen to continue working with businesses to help cut calories from their menus while providing greater choice for customers.