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Dubai set to introduce menu calorie count for restaurants

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is planning to make it mandatory for restaurants to display calorie content alongside every dish on their menus, it has been reported.

The move is to help control the obesity issue in the emirate and stop diners from frequently “opting for high calorie meals”, The National reported.

In October 2016, Dubai Municipality said it was looking at regulations to address the obesity issue in schoolchildren as nearly 33 percent of UAE children in the age group of 5-17 were found “overweight and obese”.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1.9 billion people were overweight or obese in 2014 with the Middle East and North Africa region having 26 million people classed as “severely obese”.

Dr Waffa Ayesh, director of clinical nutrition, Dubai Health Authority, was quoted as saying that putting information in front of consumers will help them to make healthier choices.

The DHA along with Dubai Municipality will roll out the new requirement in phases to help restaurants make the necessary changes, the newspaper said.

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