More than 450 restaurants and fast food outlets across the country will have introduced calorie information to their menus by June.
By the end of this month, 18 restaurants and fast food outlets will display calorie information on their menus.
The companies, including Pizza Hut, Burger King and Pret A Manger, will display calorie information for most of the food and drink they serve on menus or on the edge of shelves.
University catering companies and staff restaurants are among the outlets taking part. The outlets will ensure the information is easily visible where people choose their food.
Minister for Public Health, Dawn Primarolo, said: ‘We know that people want to be able to see how many calories are in the food and drink they order when they eat out.’
‘I want to see more catering companies join this ground-breaking first group to help their customers make healthier choices,’ she added.
Independent research will assess how easily customers understand and use the system and will inform the next steps for a wider roll-out of calorie labelling on menus.
A survey conducted by the Foods Standards Agency in 2008 showed the public wanted more information about the food they buy.A poll of 2000 peoplefound 85% were in favour of catering outlets displaying nutritional data.