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It's happening: calories will be printed on all menus in restaurants and takeaways

The Health Minister says some salads contain more calories than a burger meal.

Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

THE NUMBER OF calories in your food will soon be printed on all menus.

The cabinet today approved proposals which will see the drafting of calorie posting legislation.

It will start immediately and should be ready for enactment in 2016.

The proposed laws will require menus – for restaurants, take-aways and all food service outlets - to display the amount of calories alongside the price in the same font size and colour.

It will even include food listed on boards, leaflets and digital menus.

Nearly two out of every three adults, and one in four children in Ireland are overweight or obese.

The Health Minister Leo Varadkar says this presents real risks for health and wellbeing and causes a high percentage of many of the chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Giving calorie details on menus is a very simple but effective way of encouraging people to choose a healthier option. Food options can be deceptive. Some salads contain more calories than a burger meal.

“But if we make the information clearly available, at the very least people can make an informed choice. It won’t work in every case but it’s a powerful tool which has proved very effective in the US.”

There is sufficient scientific evidence to show that the public benefits from information about calories at the point of choice.

Calorie posting is one of a range of measures on obesity planned for 2015. Others include revised Healthy Eating Guidelines and a new Obesity Policy and Action Plan.

Originally published 3pm

Read: Thinking about ordering a pizza later? You might want to think again…>

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