Publication

Availability of nutritional information for a sample of out-of-home food outlets in Scotland

2 documents for this subject

Summary

This report provides evidence on the availability of online nutrition and portion size information for savoury meals and meal accompaniments from 86 branded out of home businesses in Scotland. The research aimed to collate the available information, in addition to identifying and reporting gaps in the information provided by businesses.

Key findings include:

  • 60% of the businesses included in the sample made some level of nutrition information available online, with most of these providing kilocalorie, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt content for most of their menu.
  • However, 40% of the sample did not provide any nutrition information online, and only 9 businesses in the sample provided information on portion size of their meals.
  • There was considerable variation in how information was presented to consumers online. For example, displaying information for whole dishes or components and a lack of clarity in exactly what was included in a meal and whether it was inclusive or exclusive of side dishes.
  • Around 1 in 5 children's meals within the sample contained more than 2g of salt. The recommended daily maximum salt intakes for children are 2g for children aged 1-3 years old, 3g for 4-6 year olds and 5g for 7-10 year olds.
  • Around 55% of adult meals (excluding starters, meal components and accompaniments) in the sample contained over 600 kilocalories, and around a quarter contained in excess of 1,000 kilocalories.  
  • An analysis of items described as beef burgers showed that the majority contained over 600 kilocalories and around half contained over 1,000 kilocalories and it was often unclear from item descriptions whether these included side dishes.

This report highlights the need for improvements in the availability, consistency and quality of nutritional information online for consumers when eating outside the home.

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