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Calorie labelling: the responsibility of the industry or a waste of time?

By Becky Paskin , 20-Jul-2011

If consumers are not willing to recognise calorie information on menus, how much responsibility should the hospitality industry be shouldering for the nation’s expanding waistline?

At the latest R200 conference held by Restaurant magazine, British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim claimed that evidence of a link between calorie information on menus and healthier consumer choices is ‘sketchy’.

However she urged hospitality businesses to embrace calorie labelling as soon as possible anyway , as the move is likely to become mandatory in the next few years.

While 28 multi-site hospitality companies have so far signed up to the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal, other independent operations such as the Michelin-starred Gauthier Soho have begun to get involved.

In response to Ibrahim’s claims, several operators attending the R200 conference spoke with BigHospitality about whether restaurants, pubs and hotels should be embracing calorie labelling now, if at all.

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