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Calorie count will soon be on Dubai menus

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Anybody who has ever been on a diet will know that it can be tough to eat out. The small description of a dish on the menu often hides sauces full of sugar and saturated fat. But how would you feel if each item on the menu had the calorific value beside it?

That’s the plan for Dubai, as authorities are currently looking into a new move that would see restaurants add calorie content information to their menus, according to The National.

Dr Waffa Ayesh, director of clinical nutrition at Dubai Health Authority, told the newspaper: “The move will help promote the concept of mindful eating and will deter people from frequently opting for high calorie meals. Globally obesity rates are growing while dependence on outside eating has increased from an occasional weekend meal to eating out on a more frequent basis.”

It is hoped that making this a requirement would lead to customers being more clued up about calorie content, leading to healthier food choices.

This comes after news that the obesity rate in the UAE is double the world average – and the world average is pretty high, with over 2.1 billion people placed in this category, according to The World Health Organisation. Childhood obesity was also recently highlighted as a growing problem in the UAE.

If implemented, the new calorie labelling requirements would be rolled out in phases to make it more manageable.

Dubai isn’t the first city to make its restaurants show the calorie count on its dishes. New York City has a rule that large chain restaurants must post calorie counts on menus.

Similarly, Ontario in Canada has just introduced a rule that restaurants with more than 20 establishments must do the same.

It’s not yet clear which restaurants would be targeted in Dubai, or when plans are likely to come into place. But one thing’s for sure… it would definitely make us think twice before ordering a milkshake with our burger!

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