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Food: Labelling

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 1422, tabled on 14 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the mandatory calorie labelling on menus on people suffering or recovering from eating disorders.

Answered on

7 June 2021

We have been careful to consider the views of a wide range of experts in response to our public consultation on introducing mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling including representatives from eating disorder groups and we will continue with this engagement.

In response to consultation feedback, we have decided to exempt schools from the requirement to display calorie information given concerns about exposing children to calorie information in school settings and eating disorders. We have also included within the Regulations a provision which permits businesses to provide a menu without calorie information at the express request of the customer. As a result, people who may find viewing calorie information more difficult may be able to avoid this information in certain situations when eating out.

The final impact assessment for introducing mandatory calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector considered the potential effect on people living with eating disorders. The impact assessment is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903712/Calorie_Labelling_-_Impact_Assessment.pdf

We are increasing our investment into eating disorder services year-on-year, with an additional £2.3 billion for mental health services each year by 2023/24. We have also announced a further £500 million in 2021/22, which will support people with a variety of mental health conditions, including eating disorders.