Friday 14 December 2018

Calories found in restaurant meals

A study appeared in the BMJ yesterday claiming (correctly, it seems) that sit down restaurant meals tend to have more calories in them than fast food meals. The authors found that the vast majority of meals served in restaurant chains exceed ‘public health recommendations for energy content’. Those recommendations have no scientific basis and were plucked out of the air by Public Health England last December, but they are now being treated like government targets.

I wrote at the time...

The idea of having 'limits' for individual meals is entirely new and I suspect that there is an agenda at work here. The 400-600-600 'rule' will allow PHE and its army of scolds to name and shame every restaurant portion, takeaway and ready meal that contains more than the government-approved quantity of calories. Individual meals will be portrayed as hazardous per se and will become targets for advertising bans, taxes and reformulation. A whole Pandora's Box is being quite deliberately opened.

So it turned out. The next phase of Public Health England's crazy reformulation scheme involves pressuring restaurants and cafés into degrading their businesses.

I've written about this for Spectator Health... 

It is less than a year since Public Health England told us that we should be consuming no more than 1,600 calories a day from meals. Specifically, we must limit breakfast to 400 calories while lunch and dinner should be capped at 600 calories. Since grown men are told by the same quango that they should be consuming 2,500 calories a day, this implies that Public Health England wants us to get through 900 calories a day from sugary drinks, snacks and alcohol. Some realistic health advice at last!

No other country on Earth issues guidelines on how many calories should be in a meal, and there is absolutely no evidence behind PHE’s 400-600-600 rule, but there was method in the agency’s madness. Behind the scenes, it is busy trying to cajole restaurants and cafés into accepting the same policy of shrinkflation and food degradation (AKA ‘reformulation’) that it has foisted on the rest of the food industry.

Do read the rest.

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