Britain appears to have declared a new war on gigantic custards, monster treacle tarts, oversize sponge cakes, and other obvious enemies of the state. According to the Times of London, the government just unveiled a plan yesterday in which restaurants, pubs, and cafés that don’t shrink desserts, or at least cut the amount of sugar in them, will be publicly “named and shamed” before the whole country. The warning extends from big chains like Starbucks and McDonald’s all the way down to small eateries, and asks them to “step up” their efforts to tackle the U.K.’s obesity crisis.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt reportedly told the industry that eating out is basically a necessary evil nowadays, so “doing nothing was no longer an option.” On top of making desserts and pastries healthier, the government also is setting calorie-reduction targets for savory foods. The initiative is meant to work hand-in-hand with this summer’s news that nine types of packaged foods also have to slash 20 percent of their added sugar. Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, the U.S. government’s efforts to make food healthier have had trouble gaining traction, so perhaps public shaming is the way to go. Anything’s better than those silly salt warnings that are on menus now.