Mandating calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector

Closed 7 Dec 2018

Opened 14 Sep 2018


Currently, nearly one in four children in England are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school, and this rises to one in three by the time they leave primary school.  Obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and obesity in adulthood increases an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and a number of cancers.

We know that it is regular overconsumption of a relatively small number of calories that leads to individuals becoming overweight or obese.  Research tells us that it is likely that eating out frequently, including eating takeaway meals, contributes to this gradual overconsumption of calories.

To make sure that people have access to clear and accurate information about the calorie content of the food and drink that they and their families are eating when dining out, we intend to introduce legislation to make calorie labelling compulsory in the out-of-home sector. This includes, for example, restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaways, as well as online businesses that sell food or drink for takeaway or home delivery that is ready to be eaten or drunk.

Making this information available can help people to make informed and healthy choices for themselves and their families and regulate their energy intake and that of their children effectively. This will contribute to efforts to reduce rates of children being overweight and obese.

Why We Are Consulting

We know that the effectiveness of making calorie labelling compulsory will rest on how well it is implemented, and especially on making sure that requirements are easy for businesses to understand and implement. Through this consultation we invite views on the details of what we are proposing, to help us make sure it works in practice.


  • Community groups
  • Charities
  • Civil society
  • GPs
  • Nurses
  • Health visitors
  • Clinicians
  • Directors of Public Health
  • Doctors
  • Healthcare scientists
  • Dieticians
  • NHS staff
  • Providers of NHS clinical services
  • Foundation Trusts
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Academic/ Professional institution
  • Local authority
  • Members of the public
  • Retailers
  • Suppliers
  • Businesses


  • Nutrition
  • Children's health and development
  • Physical health
  • Health inequalities
  • Obesity
  • Public health
  • Well-being
  • Prevention