The ALMR has responded to the publication of Public Health England’s announcement of a calorie reduction programme, by calling for comprehensive industry engagement and reiterating the sector’s hard work to date in promoting healthy attitudes to food, including reduced calorie meals.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls also called for clarity in the programme’s stated objectives and the need for wider public engagement in helping to reduce calorie consumption, saying: “As evidenced by the sugar reduction programme, the eating and drinking out sector has long been playing its part to promote healthy attitudes to food. Crucial to continuing that, though is to ensure that blanket measures that increase pressures on businesses don’t derail ongoing sector innovations to promote healthy lifestyles.
“The ALMR has consistently highlighted the fact that, for the vast majority of customers, eating out remains an occasional treat. Pubs and restaurants have worked hard to reformulate menus, to provide healthy options and provide more information to better inform customer choices.
“The stated aim is to reduce obesity in children, yet this early announcement is unclear as to how – if at all – any targeting would be manifested, so the ALMR looks forward to the publication of PHE’s evidence package early next year. We remain committed to working closely with PHE to ensure that the efforts of the sector are recognised, that pubs and restaurants are fully aware of the action they will need to take, and to help efforts towards the thoroughly merited aims of reducing child obesity.”