A small step for McDonalds, a big step for the behind

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

Experts are warning that fast food chains need to keep up with ever-changing food information on their products.

Nutritionists have successfully lobbied big brand food providers to give consumers the information they need about their products, by clearly labeling their food with the calorie count and other details.

A total of 18 firms, including KFC, McDonalds and Burger King, have agreed to provide customers with the calorie count on their menus for the first time.

Currently, fat fighters have to log on to the food outlets’ websites to get the stats – not a lot of good for those fighting the urge to devour a burger on impulse.

The move announced by the Minister for Public Health and the Food Standards Agency in 2009 was welcomed by many weight-loss officials.

Pat Wilson, spokesperson for Weight Loss Resources, welcomed the move, heralding it a proud day for bulge battlers everywhere.

She said: “We need to be doing something about the obesity problem in this country.

“Giving people the knowledge is what we consider the most important thing. It's giving people power.”

The weight-loss expert added that telling people what is in their food will not stop them from eating it but will at least give them a chance to balance their calories throughout the day.

“Half the problem with this obesity epidemic is that people don't realise how much they are eating and what is going on,” she added.

While Wilson’s talk of an “obesity epidemic” may sound a little too hyperbolic for some, she’s actually not far off the mark.

Statistics published in the government’s "Tackling Obesity: Future choices" report revealed that the prevalence of obesity in the UK has more than doubled in the last 25 years, largely thanks to the amount of processed food we consume.

In England, nearly a quarter of adults and about ten per cent of children are now obese, with a further 20 to 25 per cent of children overweight. These shocking figures have angered many officials, each claiming that the company selling the food should offer all the calorific information needed.

Clearly, while critics bemoan size zero celebrities for setting a bad example to their fans, there is a large amount of people – in more ways than one – who are favouring the eating 'healthier' eating habits of those who dont always count calories and watch their waistline to those who do.

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