Stop the UK government’s plan to display calories on restaurant menus

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Boris Johnson is planning to print calorie counts on restaurant menus as well as banning ‘buy one get one free’ offers on high calorie foods in an attempt to tackle obesity in the UK.

Obesity is a massive issue that needs to be addressed but it should be tackled through educating people on how to have a balanced diet and enjoy healthy amounts of exercise, not through demonising foods high in calories. From the perspective of someone who is in anorexia recovery, ordering at restaurants is a huge challenge that causes massive amounts of anxiety. I spend my life forcing myself not to count calories, which is hard enough already with them printed on the back of food packaging. The only thing that will be achieved by plastering calorie counts everywhere is a steep increase in unhealthy relationships with food.

In addition to this, often foods that are on offer and high in calories are a staple for malnourished children living under the poverty line. Banning offers on these foods will cause already starving families to have to spend excess money on food unnecessarily.

While 18.2 percent of people living with obesity will pass away as a result of related issues, the mortality rate of anorexia nervosa is 1 in 5. Both of these issues need to be tackled with utmost care for people’s mental wellbeing. The UK government’s fight against obesity is simultaneously a fight against people trying to recover from eating disorders and individuals/families living off of a lower income.