Calorie info on menus for Brits in battle of the bulge
Everybody is familiar with the stereotypes of medical education from the student perspective: grueling hours, little recognition, and even less glory. Now a novel Brandeis study published in Academic Medicine this month pulls back the curtain on the dominant environment of academic medicine from the perspective of faculty, the providers of medical education in medical
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A scheme to provide diners in Britain with calorie information on menus is set to be introduced there this summer.
The calorie labelling scheme comes from the food watchdog the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and follows a survey which found people want more information about the food they buy in restaurants and cafes.
The FSA is eager for the public to have more consistent nutrition information available when they eat out and the introduction of calorie labelling is the first step in the Government’s strategy to tackle obesity - the ‘Healthy Food Code of Good Practice’ - which challenges the food industry to support the public in making healthier food choices to reduce rising levels of obesity and diet related illnesses.
The scheme will mean cafes, pubs and restaurants will be urged to display nutritional information on their menus; the FSA is apparently already negotiating with some of the biggest food chains about the initiative.
FSA chief executive Tim Smith says nutritional information is already provided on food in stores and there is no reason why more consistent information should also be available when eating out.
Research by the FSA found that people were in favour a combination of simple data at the point-of-sale with more comprehensive information available elsewhere if required and while the labelling scheme is still to be finalised the FSA wants caterers to provide calorie information on menus and also more information about fat, salt and sugar content included on leaflets at the outlet.
The FSA says consumers want clear and simple information at the point they choose what to eat on menus or menu boards and do not want to have to ask for it and the agency has already had healthy eating commitments from some major high street restaurant chains such as Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Nando’s, Subway and Wimpy.
The labelling scheme is similar to the system which became law in New York last year which has proven successful in reducing calorie in-take and as a measure to deal with increasing levels of obesity.
The FSA says though the focus is currently on large food chains if the scheme proves successful, small, independent caterers could follow suit with help.
A group campaigning for healthier food, the Food Commission, says the scheme needs to go further and comprehensive information needs to be provided by more than a handful of companies on a voluntary basis.
The British Hospitality Association estimates sales in the catering sector tripled between 1981 and 2005 - the FSA’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) shows that men get 25% of total food energy intake and women get 21% of energy from eating out.
With childhood obesity increasing, school administrators and public health officials are reducing availability of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in schools. In a study published in the November/December 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers found that reduction or elimination of SSB from school menus has little effect on total consumption by adolescents.
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A parents advocacy group has called for a boycott of entertainment and sporting venues which promote and sell junk food. The Parents Jury says they want governments to enforce healthy food guidelines across the hospitality industry. A poll conducted by the advocacy group of more than 250 of its members about children’s eating-out options has
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Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms - everyone’s 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have shown. The biological clock regulates the expression and/or activity of enzymes and hormones involved in metabolism, and disturbance
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