Monday, September 12, 2011

Will calorie labeling make healthy eating easier?

This week McDonalds will start displaying calorie information in all 1,200 of thier UK fast food outlets, as part governments plans to encourage calorie labeling in restaurants - designed to help encourage people to choose a healthier option as they order in restaurants.

The goverment's responsibility deal aims to give people choice, and encourage healthy eating even in the depths of a fast food outlet - notorious for serving meals with an unexpectedly high calorie content. Coffee shops are keen to get on board too, which chains like Starbucks signing up - which the goverment hopes will help encourage more people to choose options like an Americano, with just 17 calories, over a hot chocolate with whipped cream, which can have up to 556 calories.

Some people, however, have questioned the effectiveness of such a scheme - with some claiming that anyone entering a fast food restaurant is surely aware that the calorie content of most of the food is high, meaning that they are unlikely to change their mind upon seeing a healthier option.

But for those who are trying to keep healthy, the move is likely to be welcomed - and at least this way we can be sure that an innocent enough looking coffee or sandwhich won't turn out to be half of our daily calorie intake.

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