Following on from the implementation of calorie counts on menus in England, the Scottish Government has launched a consultation on whether the same should be done in Scotland, to try to tackle the rising rates of obesity and meet the Scottish Government's targets of halving child obesity by 2030.
Research carried out by the Scottish Government has shown that 98% of the population eats outside of the home, but that people have little information on the nutritional content of their food.
The consultation will ask for responses on how calorie labelling could apply to:
- the food and hospitality sector, depending on the size of a business;
- public sector institutions such as hospitals and prisons;
- pre-packed food such as filled sandwiches;
- online takeaway menus; and
- children’s menus.
The consultation asks business to provide input on a variety of aspects including: how to make information accessible, on any advice businesses would require to comply with any regulations and the potential scope of any exemptions as well as looking at the potential impact on health or other inequalities.
The outcome of the consultation will help the Scottish Government decide if legislation should be introduced and the form best suited for Scottish businesses.
Whilst the Scottish Government argues that such a move will help people make healthier choices, critics in England have suggested that calories are only part of the wider nutritional picture of food and could harm those who have eating disorders.
The consultation can be found here and the closing date for responses is 1 July 2022.