The Government agency told BigHospitality that the story has been misinterpreted and that were no plans to tell chains to cut down lunches and dinners to 600 calories and breakfast to 400.
Public Health England’s chief nutritionist Alison Tedstone apparently told food bosses that 27% of UK adults are obese, 36% more were overweight and meals out of home were a key cause.
She was quoted by the The Times as saying: ““People eat 200-300 calories too many a day . . . We will work with the industry to reduce the calories in everyday food. This is all about things like pizzas and ready-made sandwiches. We will need to set out guidelines and, I suspect, a series of calorie caps.”
A Public Health England spokesman says the story is based on information about a March campaign that will see the department work with restaurants and retailers to promote meals that were under 600 calories.
The exact details are still under wraps, but Public Health England is hoping to team up with restaurants to help them signpost lower calorie options.
The spokesman also confirmed that there are no changes to the Government’s daily calorie intake guidelines (2,000 for women and 2,500 for men).