'Some people won't eat out again' - Mum with anorexia against calories on menus
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A mum who has battled anorexia for more than two decades has hit out at plans to introduce calories on restaurant menus.
Christina Taylor, from Sprowston, has branded the move "absolutely disastrous" and "a backwards step" for people in their fight against eating disorders.
From April next year, cafés, restaurants and takeaways with 250 or more employees will be required to display calorie information on menus.
Mrs Taylor has lived with anorexia from the age of 13, during which time she has dreaded the prospect of dining out with friends and family.
She argued the challenge would only intensify if eateries begin displaying calorie content.
"Calorie counting is how a lot of eating disorders start - and then it gets out of hand," added Mrs Taylor.
"Controlling disorders is about forgetting calories and accepting you can have a calorific meal. This plan is pushing back against everything you are taught not to do.
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"Some of the people I have spoken to in the community say they will not be able to eat out anymore.
"Before, it was possible for people to step away from calories, but now they will be forced to come face-to-face."
Making it a legal requirement to display calories on menus comes as part of the government's strategy to combat obesity.
A provision which allows businesses to provide menus without calorie information upon request has been included.
However, earlier this week Norwich charity Beat called the plans "dangerous" for those living with eating disorders.
"People with eating disorders would be upset to think we are being portrayed as saying 'nobody would be helped by this,'" added Mrs Taylor.
"But there are other methods to help things like obesity and diabetes. No-one goes out for a triple cheeseburger and thinks it is sensible.
"Typical socialising is going out for a meal and a drink but, for someone like me, that has been so difficult.
"I would never want to come across like I'm telling people not to do that, because it is normal. What we want is for people with eating disorders to be able to take part again."
Mrs Taylor has started a petition calling on the government to consider alternative options in relation to calories on menus.
Visit chng.it/QcpbSDbx to sign the petition.