Looking for eating disorder support in your area? Visit HelpFinder

Beat's response to Government plan for calorie counts on menus

The Government is launching plans to make calorie counts on menus obligatory as part of its childhood obesity strategy.

Reacting to the proposals, Beat’s Chief Executive Andrew Radford said:

“Requiring calorie counts on menus risks causing great distress for people suffering from or vulnerable to eating disorders, since evidence shows that calorie labelling exacerbates eating disorders of all kinds.

“Although we recognise the importance of reducing obesity, research shows that anti-obesity campaigns that focus on weight instead of health are counter-productive, while the number of calories consumed is not a reliable indicator of health. 

“Public health campaigns need to consider people’s mental health as well as their physical health. They must move away from obesity-shaming to emphasising healthy behavioural changes and instilling confidence into people.”