The UK government has asked for the public’s views on mandatory calorie labelling of food and drink items in restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

Aimed at fighting obesity, the 12-week consultation by the Department of Health and Social Care is intended to help families make informed and healthier choices about what they eat outside of the home.

The consultation is also seeking for opinions on how calorie labelling should be provided by online companies that sell takeaway or home delivery dishes.

Additionally, the consultation will seek views on how this could apply to small businesses, street vendors and restaurants with fast-changing menus.

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“I firmly believe we have a right to know the nutritional content of the food we give to our children.”

This latest initiative forms part of the government’s wider strategy to reduce childhood obesity by 50% by 2030.

UK Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “Families want to know what they are eating when on the go, but in many cafés, restaurants and takeaways this information is not available.

“This is not about forcing anyone to eat certain things, or companies to behave in a certain way, but I firmly believe we have a right to know the nutritional content of the food we give to our children.

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“Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and is often both preventable and reversible. That’s why we are taking action through this consultation, and I would ask everyone to respond with their ideas on how we can make this work.”

The consultation will run until 7 December 2018.