I started a petition to stop the government putting calorie counts on menus

‘Having no choice to see this information is highly triggering’

Last week Boris Johnson announced plans to put calories on restaurant menus in an effort to “tackle obesity”, but a petition by a Nottingham Uni student is seeking to have this plan stopped in its tracks.

Lily Pickard, a postgraduate American Studies student, started the petition to prevent the government from making a decision that she believes makes recovery harder for those suffering from eating disorders.

In under 24 hours, the petition has reached over 4,000 signatures, with 10,000 signatures needed to get a response from the government and 100,000 to be considered for debate in parliament.

Lily was inspired to start the petition after her recovery from an eating disorder

Speaking to The Tab, Lily said that the petition was started from her own struggles with an eating disorder: “I know first hand how this would impact people negatively and wanted to do something proactive to try and help.

“Calorie counting is an inherent practice in disordered eating behaviours and I believe making this information more public would encourage some of the dangerous sides of calorie counting such as excessive exercise, binging, and purging.”

Whilst Lily acknowledges that this could be helpful to some, the damage that this could cause is not worth the change: “I understand that having access can be helpful in some circumstances, but for the millions of people in the U.K. impacted by eating disorders, having no choice to see this information would be highly triggering.

“It is my belief that this information should be readily available for those that request it, but shouldn’t be on main menus.”

Sign the petition here, and for further support and information on eating disorders visit Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity

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