The Government has launched a consultation on the introduction of mandatory calorie counts on menus.

The document, published this morning, says if approved the regulation would come in no earlier than Spring 2020.

Under the proposals, the calorie labelling requirement would apply to any establishment, including stalls or vans, in which food is prepared and sold so it is ready for consumption. It would need to display calories as well as the proportion of recommended daily energy intake the product would represent. The requirement would cover drinks as well sides, toppings and specials.

Operators would also be responsible for including the information on delivery platforms.

The consultation runs until 7 December.

Steve Brine, the public health minister, said: “Families want to know what they are eating when on the go, but in many cafes, restaurants and takeaways this information is not available.

“This is not about forcing anyone to eat certain things, or companies to behave in a certain way. But I firmly believe we have a right to know the nutritional content of the food we give to our children. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and is often both preventable and reversible. That’s why we are taking action through this consultation, and I would ask everyone to respond with their ideas on how we can make this work.”