Obesity battle stumbles as calorie count too costly

Adelina Campos

THE cost of counting calories seems to be too expensive for some of our top restaurants.

The Department of Health wants the amount of calories displayed on menus in its battle to tackle rising obesity levels.

But high-end restaurants and small eateries say this will be too expensive -- although large fast-food outlets have welcomed the scheme.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly is expected to decide on the plan once he has received the results of public consultations. This has been carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

So far it is understood that several chains have asked the department to provide financial support for the measure.


Bombay Pantry and Carroll Food Services were among those who favoured financial aid, as they claimed that they would not be able to make any changes to their menus because of the expense, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Small businesses and top-end restaurants also noted that it would be too complicated for them to estimate calorie content every time they changed their menus.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland wants to meet the minister over the "numerous issues" raised by its members.

The move comes as research in America found that when calories were displayed, people ate less.

Dr Reilly remarked earlier this year that 25pc of three-year-olds in Ireland is overweight or obese "If we don't tackle this, we will be the very first generation to bury the one after us," he said.