Closed petition Make it a legal requirement for restaurants to add carbohydrate content to menus

The carbohydrate content of food is required by diabetics dependant on insulin in order to calculate the correct amount of insulin to inject. The incorrect amount can result in low/high blood sugar which can make them very unwell and require medical help.

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Myself and other diabetics I know have requested this information from various restaurants personally many times over the years but we are always told they’ll look into it, but no changes are made.

I would like the Government to make this mandatory as all too often diabetes is misunderstood and isn’t considered a serious condition. If people are able to take care of their diabetes using this small piece of information, it should lead to less diabetic complications and hospital admittances.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 15 October 2021

Whilst the Government recognises diabetes is a serious condition, there are no current plans to mandate carbohydrate labelling in the out of home sector.

The government recognises diabetes is a serious condition and is taking strong action to help those living with diabetes to manage their condition and to prevent Type 2 diabetes. There are currently no plans to introduce mandatory carbohydrate labelling in the out of home sector.

To help people with diabetes manage their condition, the NHS is continuing to test diabetes monitoring technologies that can support individuals in their management of Type 1 diabetes by giving them continuous monitoring of their glucose levels. This can support individuals when eating out at restaurants.

Alongside dedicated technologies to support those living with Type 1 diabetes, there are a number of free online services that can be accessed from a phone that provides advice on diet and management tips to increase confidence in day-to-day management of their condition. Sites include MyType1Diabetes: Adults with Type 1 diabetes can access the service directly by visiting myType1diabetes.nhs.uk which include videos and eLearning courses. Similarly for children living with Type 1 diabetes, the DigiBete App and website is available for a wide range of awareness, education, training and support resources.

In addition to action to help people with diabetes manage their condition the government is working to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The NHS Five Year Forward View committed to introducing the first national diabetes prevention programme to be delivered nationwide. As a result, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have been working together on The Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP). The NDPP identifies those at high risk of developing diabetes and refers them onto a behaviour change programme. In 2018/19 the NDPP achieved full national roll out, with services available to patients in every sustainability and transformation partnership in England.

The government is also taking action to prevent Type 2 diabetes through the healthy weight strategy ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ as we know that being overweight or obese is the main modifiable risk factor in developing Type 2 diabetes. The strategy includes a number of key measures such as the expansion of weight management services and legislation to restrict the promotion and advertisement of foods high in fat, salt and sugar. As part of the healthy weight strategy the government has passed legislation to implement mandatory calorie labelling among large food businesses (businesses with 250 or more employees) in the out of home sector from the 6 April 2022.

Some respondents to the 2018 consultation on mandating calorie labelling in the out of home sector suggested the inclusion of other macronutrients, most notably carbohydrate content, particularly in connection with helping people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar. However, we believe there is a balance to be struck between providing accessible and useful information for consumers while not disproportionately impacting businesses and their ability to shape how their menus or menu boards look. While there are currently no plans to mandate carbohydrate labelling in the out of home sector businesses are encouraged to consider the needs of their customers and are able to provide information on carbohydrate content if they choose.

Department of Health and Social Care