It’s OK to take a night off from counting the calories

TASTY But do you need someone to tell you it's full of calories?
TASTY But do you need someone to tell you it's full of calories?
Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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When you go out for a meal, do you really want to know that pudding contains more than a third of your recommended daily allowance of calories?

The chances are you’ve already figured out for yourself that Death by Chocolate is the sort of thing best avoided while on a diet.

Bet that doesn’t stop you eating it though.

The thing with calories is that it’s very easy to turn a blind eye to those puritanical little numbers when you’re intent on shoving that third (or fourth) biscuit into your cake hole.

But there’s no doubt about it, we’re fast becoming a nation of fatties.

The UK’s obesity levels are way too high to be healthy – and the Americans aren’t doing very well either.

So in New York, restaurants have started putting the number of calories contained in each dish on their menus. But is that really going to make a difference?

Going out for one calorie-laden meal isn’t most people’s problem.

It’s their unhealthy eating habits at home that result in them piling on the pounds. And packet foods already contain all the saturated fat figures and nutritional break-downs you’ll ever need to know.

That hasn’t stopped Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier from following in the footsteps of the New Yorkers.

Menus at his London restaurant will now feature the calorie contents of dishes. Apparently, his Angus beef cooked in a pot with lard contains 565 calories. You don’t say.

Are we really so thick that we can’t work out what the healthy options on the menu are for ourselves any more?

And are we really in so much strife that we can’t just enjoy one, tasty, guilt-laden meal out every now and again?

It was terribly fashionable to count calories in the 1980s, but I think this revival is just a gimmick on the part of these restaurants.

I mean, if Gauthier really cared about the issue, he could choose to cook with something less fattening than lard for a start.

People do need to be educated about the amounts of food they consume. But this is just teaching people to suck eggs.