Brits can eat more calories per day, say government scientists. The new calorie recommendations say that men can now eat around 2,605 calories of food every day, while women can eat 2079. Both represent an increase of around 100 calories on previous figures.
The new calorie recommendations, updated from 1991, are based on an improved understanding of body mass index (BMI) and the impact of exercise, said Alan Jackson, head of the scientific advisory committee on nutrition that came up with the new figures.
However, in an oddly timed twist, health officials have said that Brits need to eat less to curb the country's obesity epidemic. The department of health report, published on Thursday, said that the UK population is eating 10 per cent more calories than necessary. It also says that the nation collectively needs to cut around 5 billion calories from its daily diet.
The report, part of health minister Andrey Lansley's "national ambition" to to tackle the UK’s growing weight problem, says that 60 per cent of adults and a third of children are overweight. By encouraging the population to eat less, the government hopes to bring down the number of heavy Brits by 2020.
However, TV chef and healthy food campaigner Jamie Oliver has slammed the plan, calling it "worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish"
"Any of us could walk into any primary school in the country and find plenty of eight-year-olds with more creative solutions to these problems," he said. "It's a farce."
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