Trade association UKHospitality has warned that the government’s plan to “half childhood obesity by 2030” could have significant impact on the sector.

As well as banning the sale of caffeine-laden energy drinks to children, new measures include introducing “clear, consistent calorie labelling on menus in restaurants, cafés and takeaways,” which UKHospitality said “would represent a significant burden for businesses” in particular smaller operators.

Praising the out-of-home sector’s “workable efforts to promote healthier eating habits,” chief executive Kate Nicholls warned that “the introduction of mandatory menu calorie labelling would represent a significant burden for businesses, particularly smaller operators.

“Many venues already choose to show calorie content on their menus, with many high street brands giving customers an unprecedented level of information. But the reality is that smaller businesses will struggle to do so.

“It would impose a serious additional cost for many businesses facing tightening margins, increased operating costs and wider economic instability.

“Furthermore, it would hamper venues endeavours to incorporate seasonal ingredients and ‘specials’ to attract custom, as well as restricting smaller firms’ ability to innovate, particularly when tackling food waste.”

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