Matt Hancock Criticised For ‘Harmful’ Plan To Force Pubs To Show Calorie Counts On Alcohol

by : Mike Williams on :
Matt Hancock Criticised For 'Harmful' Plan To Force Pubs To Show Calorie Counts On AlcoholPA Images

Matt Hancock has been blasted on social media for his call for pubs to add calorie counts to all of its listed alcohol.

With pubs partially reopening this week, it appears the UK is slowly coming out of lockdown and readjusting back to a pre-pandemic world. However, the government’s plan to include the calories for drinks is seen as hugely problematic for a number of reasons.


People took issue on Twitter, highlighting that the revelation has come just days after the highly-publicised death of former Big Brother star Nikki Grahame, who sadly passed away after a battle with anorexia.

A leaked document suggests, as per Mail Online, venues will have numbers on taps and in menus.

The move is also deemed ill-advised when there could be more worthy alcohol-related initiatives to spend money on, such as highlighting the dangers of drink driving, binge drinking and tackling alcoholism in general.


Then there’s the shaming element, whereby those who are enjoying a drink after pubs have been closed for months are made to feel guilty or pressured not to indulge. It’s fair to suggest that the nation has been less active during a year of lockdowns and may have gained weight, so this decision could exacerbate an already-negative relationship many have with food and drink.

And lastly, the government appears to be sending out mixed messages. On the one hand, it has been eager to reopen the economy – including reopening pubs and restaurants that are serving in outdoor areas – as soon as possible, during a period where many businesses have suffered and are in dire need of a cash injection. This new plan could well deter patrons from revisiting pubs.

While the concept of making people aware of the calorie content of beers, wine and spirits is beneficial in tackling obesity, the proposal perhaps comes at a misjudged time, when people’s mental and physical health has taken a beating over the past 12 months.


Many more weren’t impressed, expressing a concern over the impact of eating disorders.


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While an official decision over the plans has yet to be made, suffice to say the proposal is a controversial one.

If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, 9am–8pm weekdays and 11am–4pm weekends for advice and support.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat.

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Topics: Health, Eating Disorder, lockdown, Matt Hancock, Now, Pubs