Calories in popular foods such as pizzas and burgers to be set by Public Health England.

by Jessica Amos. Last updated: 5 years, 5 months ago.

In an effort to tackle child obesity in England, Public Health England (PHE) aims to introduce stringent targets to reduce calories in pizzas, burgers and ready meals. It is believed that an average individual in the UK consumed around 200-300 excess calories i.e. calories not required by their body to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This radical move could either result in resizing of popular products sold on supermarkets and restaurants or lead to a change of ingredients - in an effort to bring down the calorie count. The targets are expected to be set by mid 2018.

However, PHE has ensured that such targets would be entirely voluntary, but the government will be willing to step in and legislate if the food industry does not respond to the set targets. The move has been initiated after a ten year long drive to reduce salt content in food, which (excess salt) has been linked to higher blood pressure and heart diseases.

In 2016, the government launched a sugar reduction drive as a part of the child obesity strategy which has committed the food industry to reduce the sugar content in certain foods by upto 20% by 2020. A part of the child obesity strategy plan also includes a tax on sugary drinks, which is due to come into effect in April 2018.

In an interview with the BBC, Public Health England’s chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone commented that good progress was being made on the sugar front and that it was now time to tackling overall calorific values within popular foods.