Food safety chiefs launch new online calorie counter for restaurants

Health experts are welcoming a new online calculator which will help Irish restaurants to put calorie totals on their menus.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland's 'Menu-Cal" was launched by the Health Minister this morning and is considered the first of its kind in Europe.

"This easily accessible and free of charge on-line calorie calculator which will be of significant benefit to both individual consumers and food businesses across the country in determining the calorie content of their meals," Minister Reilly said.

"The potential benefits of calorie posting are immense for the prevention of obesity and all associated health problems."

Broadcaster Dr Eva Orsmond agreed that the health benefits of the calculator could be significant. She says too many Irish people are suffering the effects of obesity.

"I am treating overweight and obesity on a daily basis in my clinics and I see what overweight and obesity does to people" she said.

"I'm trying to reverse type 2 diabetes, I'm trying to help people come off their long list of medication.

"I have this morning alone a gentleman who has seven different tablets for his blood pressure."

However the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said that any legislation which forces businesses to put calorie totals on menus will cost every restaurant €5,000 per year.

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