Andrew Lansley, the Health Minister, has called on restaurants to adopt a voluntary calorie information scheme on menus. Speaking at the weekend he said he hoped that a voluntary system would be adopted across the industry as part of a new "public health responsibility deal" between Whitehall and large food producers and retailers. However, the move if picked up by the industry would be a repeat of a voluntary scheme run by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently – which involved a number of the sector’s leading companies. The call for an adoption of a voluntary scheme also follows on from the new government recommending changes to the FSA’s remit. M&C Report understands that a number of operators in the eating out sector are becoming increasingly confused by the issue and many are looking for clarity before moving forward. Speaking at the weekend, Lansley said: “Our aim is to give people the help and advice they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. I want to make it as easy as possible for them to do that. That's why we're working with industry to bring in calorie information on menus," he said. "As a nation we are too unhealthy. We cost the NHS billions of pounds a year through bad diet, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices." Lansley's plan was supported by Dr Lindsey Davies, a member of the Department of Health's advisory group and president of the Faculty of Public Health, which represents 3,300 specialists. "Having the calorific content displayed would be very helpful. I would hope that this idea would make a difference to the nation's expanding waistlines," she said. " 2If you give people an easy way to see how many calories there are in their food, that's great. But it has to be done in a way that's easy to understand." A spokesman for Mitchells & Butlers, the managed pub group, which had engaged in the previous FSA calorie information trial said it was always willing to get involved in any discussions or consultations. He added: “"We are in general agreement with providing customers with nutritional information for our menus and we continue to make good progress in this area across our brands." A source at Yum! Brands, owners of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, said it was “perplexed” by Lansley’s announcement.