Government's Calorie Reduction Targets 2020

Katie Paterson

September 29, 2020

Calorie Reduction Targets 2020

The government have introduced calorie reduction targets in effort to decrease the rate of obesity in the UK.

Currently, there are 13 million obese adults in the UK. Icnarc have carried out a survey and found that 73% of critically ill patients with Covid-19 in intensive care were overweight or obese. The government issued this statement in a recent article:

Excess weight is associated with an increased risk of the following for COVID-19: a positive test, hospitalisation, advanced levels of treatment (including mechanical ventilation or admission to intensive or critical care) and death”

To read the full article click here.

Those who are overweight are at risk of developing serious health problems, reducing calories in everyday foods will help the UK tackle Covid-19 and other weight related illnesses.

The eating out, takeaway and delivery sector have an average of a 20% calorie reduction target, and the retailers and manufacturers have an average of a 10% reduction target. The government have also released recommended maximum calories per portion guidelines. However, each sector has specific targets for different foods within their overall goals.

Government’s main goals

Eating out, Takeaway and Delivery

The eating out, takeaway and delivery sector have an average 20% calorie reduction target. Restaurants have been advised to focus on their bestselling dishes, reducing the sugar, salt and portion size will achieve the goals. Some food groups have individual targets, for example crisps have a 5% reduction target because the food is naturally so high in calories and challenging to reduce.

Retailers and Manufacturers

In 2017, retailers and manufacturers were given the same 20% target as the eating out, takeaway and delivery sector. However, the government faced backlash from manufacturers who argued the 20% calorie target was too ambitious as their products were relatively low-calorie compared to the eating out sector. With this taken into consideration, the new 10% average target was put in place September 2020.

Some food groups in this sector have reduced targets: crisps, sandwiches and savoury snacks have a 5% reduction ambition. For more information click here.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is increasing, the NHS have found that 20% of year 6 children (aged 10/11) are obese. PHE have set a 20% calorie reduction target for under 18’s by 2024. However, children’s bundle meals in the out-of-home sector will only have a 10% calorie reduction target. Reducing the calories children are intaking is an essential step in improving their health as adults. If you are obese as a child, you are 20% more likely to develop serious health problems, such as cancer, when you are an adult.

There will be interim reports where PHE will analyse how well companies are doing at reaching the targets. Those that are not making sufficient progress may be named and shamed as an incentive for all businesses to do better.


How NT Assure can help

We can help restaurants, retailers and manufacturers reach the calorie reduction targets through the new Calorie Target feature on Smart Supplier 2020. Smart Supplier will intuitively calculate your progress and communicate with Public Health England.

Smart Supplier lets you select a food category/dish and immediately see if it reaches the 20/10% calorie reduction ambitions, making compliance effortless and simple. The software will also report back to senior teams, keeping everyone in your business up to date on how you are reaching the calorie reductions target.

Integrating a Calorie Target feature within Smart Supplier means simultaneously controlling data whilst complying to legislations. We can help to build a report on your products across your portfolio and analyse the calorie values against the calorie reduction target categories from PHE.

We also offer software to automate nutritional information. Smart Chef shows the nutritional profile of each recipe allowing you to see if new products are complying to targets as soon as a recipe is built. This allows you to build a new menu whilst complying with the calorie reduction targets.

For more information on how our software can transform your business, call 01933 272089 or email to book in a consultation with one of our software specialists.

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