The call follows the recommendation to Government that a tax on sugary drinks should be introduced in the UK.
ALMR chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said that although the eating and drinking out sector recognises the impact of an imbalanced diet, the sugar tax alone is not enough to address the majority of the Government’s health concerns, and warned that pubs and bars will feel the impact.
“This additional cost will be felt by pubs and bars, many of whom have worked very hard over recent years to provide their customers with healthy options. Licensed operators have increased the sophistication of their alcohol labelling to provide customers with information on alcohol units and calorific content and to make an informed choice,” she said.
“The Health Select Committee Report and Jamie Oliver’s campaign rightly highlight the hidden sugars in ever day foods which undermine many people’s efforts to do that, but the explosion in casual dining means that there is more choice than ever before for those seeking healthy food, freshly prepared from high quality ingredients with no hidden sugar and where sugary drinks or desserts are on the menu, healthier options are always readily available.”
Nicholls also praised the role that restaurants play in promoting healthy food options for children.
“Eating out is always a treat but restaurants can be huge role models of a great food experience for kids - to learn about healthy choices and the sociable side of eating as well as trying new, interesting and varied foods.
“As a sector, we have made real progress in addressing parents’ concerns and in helping all consumers to make informed decisions about what they eat. These businesses are not only driving growth but helping to reinforce positive attitudes towards healthy eating and we hope that the Government recognises and builds upon this good work.”