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Chains 'should have to display calorie content of food and drink'

Restaurant, pub and cinema chains should be compelled to spell out the calorie content of food and drink they sell to help tackle the nation's "obesity crisis", council leaders have said.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling on ministers to include a requirement for chains with more than 20 outlets to display calorie counts on menus and at counters in its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy.

It points to the example of New York which has been running a calorie count scheme since 2008 with the backing of the city's restaurant sector.

Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's spokeswoman on community wellbeing, said: "Food and drink with high calorie content is clearly a factor behind obesity, and the subsequent health problems it can cause.

"Clear and prominent signs indicating the number of calories in a product should be mandatory.

"We need to take bold action in changing our environment if we are to beat obesity, and that includes when we're sitting at a table in a restaurant reading a menu or ordering at the counter."

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