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Big Macs, Domino’s pizzas and Greggs bakes could get smaller as part of crackdown on UK obesity crisis

Everything you need to know…

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Sikander Iqbal/Wikimedia & Stock Catalog/Flickr

Public Health England has asked the food industry to ‘voluntarily’ cut calories on fast food items, which could mean the Big Mac will be 20% smaller. 

McDonald’s won’t be the only chain that could be affected by PHE’s new rules. Domino’s pizzas, a portion of fish and chips and even Greggs bakes could be affected in the shakeup.

Calories would be reduced by 20% in fast food and by 10% in children’s food bundles such as ready meals.

The 20% calorie reduction would see the Big Mac drop from 508 calories currently to 407. 

Andrew Herashchenko/Unsplash

Similarly, a pepperoni pizza from Domino’s would become 1,982 calories in the plans, reduced from the existing 2,478 – which is 478 calories over the entire recommended daily intake for women. 

Pizzas regularly contain more calories than the recommended daily intake and so were singled out in the scheme by PHE. 

Savoury snacks such as sandwiches and crisps would also see a calorie reduction of 5% under the new scheme. 

The government is also set to recommend a plan to help reduce people’s salt intake as many are having 8.5g a day, exceeding the 6g limit. 

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Public Health Minister Jo Churchill told The Sun: “We can all do our bit to stay healthy, to help protect us from coronavirus and take pressure off the NHS.

“The food industry can play their part, by making it as easy as possible for everyone to eat more healthily. These guidelines will help them take positive action.

Chief nutritionist for PHE, Dr Alison Tedstone added: “Eating food and drink that’s higher in calories than people realise is one of the reasons why many of us are either overweight or obese.

“This is about broadening choice for consumers, as well as making the healthier choice the easy choice. Progress to date on sugar and salt reduction has shown that this can happen without compromising on taste and quality.”


Obesity costs the NHS £6.1 billion a year, with 28.7% of adults in England being classed as obese and 35.6% classed as overweight.

Dr Hilary Jones spoke about Britain’s health crisis on Good Morning Britain, warning that the issue needed support and motivation rather than humiliation. 

Hilary said: “People who are overweight or obese need GP support, but unless you address the issue in the first place and weigh them, you can’t give that support.

“The conversation has to take place, it has to be honest, it has to be frank and it has to be non-judgemental.

“Support services need to be there, but when £65million is being spent by social services in terms of bariatric equipment, such reinforced beds, heavy-duty wheelchairs, it’s something that needs to be solved because the NHS can’t afford it.”


This follows recent headlines which saw a suggestion from the National Obesity Forum to weigh children in schools from September to ensure children are ‘losing lockdown weight’.

The National Child Measurement Programme weighs and measures children at school and passes the information onto the NHS to ‘plan and provide better health services for children’.

Parents will receive a letter from local authorities which will provide more information on whether your child will be weighed and measured. 

The information will compare children’s weight with their age, height and sex, using the controversial BMI measurement tool. 

The proposal was met with swift backlash. 

Many people explained that weighing children will do more harm than good and will damage the mental health of youngsters. 

Claire Mysko, CEO of the National Eating Disorder Associated, explains that BMI and weight are not holistic measures of health.

While the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention neither recommends for or against the use of the Body Mass Index measurement programme it says that pupils should be in a ‘safe and supportive environment for students of all bodies sizes’.

Adding to this, the CDC explains that there is no conclusive evidence that such programmes are effective in improving health in children. 

Mysko explains that tests can lead to bullying, shame and even disordered eating. Adding that schools should prioritise what makes children feel happy and strong, not encouraging them to fixate on what they look like or numbers on a scale. 

A spokesperson for the government programme told Refinery29: “We are also well known for pointing out that zoos measure their animals annually to check their good health, but our children, the country’s future, are ignored!” 

Mysko responded to this saying comparing children to zoo animals was ‘unhelpful and bizarre’.

She added: “We know that weight and BMI are not accurate measures of health and while we do need screenings in schools for a variety of issues, including eating disorders, and we need to be mindful and vigilant about ensuring that we’re measuring the health of kids.

“Weight and BMI are not what we should be looking at.” She adds that the onus of health shouldn’t be placed on an individual, especially a child.

“This is a systemic problem, not an individual issue, many people in our community who have struggled with eating disorders or who are in higher weight bodies have been subjected to years or lifetimes of diets and harmful weight loss programs, all built on the assumption that an individual can control their weight or environment, which isn’t a helpful or accurate way of framing the discussion.” 

Mysko explains that while Covid-19 has ‘serious life-threatening complications’ we mustn’t forget ‘mental health’ of children. She added that we ‘need to look at the risks of shaming kids for their body size in an environment where there are already so many mental health risks’.

Explaining that children have little control over their environment, what they eat and their ability to exercise, Mysko adds: “We need to be supporting kids now more than ever.”

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Celebrate Embankment Kitchen’s fourth birthday with prizes to be won throughout October

There’s some fantastic prizes to be won throughout the whole month

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Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Manchester restaurant, bar & grill Embankment Kitchen is celebrating its fourth birthday, where diners will receive a scratch card to win a variety of prizes throughout October.

Celebrations kick off on Wednesday, October 4th at the sophisticated venue, located in the CitySuites Aparthotel, and will continue throughout the entire month.

The birthday month will feature live music every Thursday, a special birthday cocktail menu, and the chance to win some big prizes too.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Diners also receive 25% off* their food bill, throughout October, every Tuesday to Saturday (*This offer is for the a la carte menu only).

Guests could also find themselves sipping on free beer, prosecco and cocktails, or even enjoying a meal on the house – all to be won on the Embankment birthday scratch cards.

The live music features a range of talented artists performing throughout the evening, from duos covering modern songs to the fabulous gypsy jazz band The String Beans.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Embankment’s special birthday cocktail menu includes the Peach Blossom Bellini, made with Grey Goose Vodka and Baron de Marck Champagne, with notes of Peach and Rosemary.

Sip on the delightful A Toast To 4, made with Beefeater gin, strawberry and lemon flavours and topped with Baron de Marck Champagne. 

The EK Sour is made with Havana 7, Disaronno, Lemon, Pineapple, and the Birthday Bubbles cocktail is made with Tanqueray 10, Aperol, Passionfruit, Lemon, Soda – perfect for the celebration.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Guests who chose to dine at Embankment Kitchen throughout October will receive a scratch card with one of the below prizes:

  • 15% off food (*Food only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or set menu)
  • Free beer or prosecco
  • Free cocktail
  • Free starter or dessert (*When dining with a main)
  • Your meal on Embankment – x2 

To book a table and celebrate with Embankment and be in with the chance to win great prizes, click HERE.

Embankment Kitchen, CitySuites Aparthotel, 16 Chapel St, Salford

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Sunak announces HS2 leg to Manchester to be scrapped


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Rishi Sunak announces at the Tory party conference that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the HS2 is to be scrapped.

The Prime Minister made a key speech at the conference held in Manchester city centre where he confirmed the rail line will stop in Manchester but from Birmingham it will switch onto using the existing West Coast Mainline track.

This means the high speed route, to connect the north with the south, will no longer exist, effectively confirming days of speculation.


After being introduced by his wife, Akshata Murty, as a ‘wonderful father, my best friend, your prime minister’, Mr Sunak thanked both his wife and the audience.

Speaking live from Manchester, Mr Sunak called HS2 the ‘ultimate example of the old consensus’.

The Prime Minister then said he’s cancelling ‘the rest of the HS2 project’ – which means everything outside the London to Birmingham leg, and is currently under construction.

He then said he ‘will reinvest every single penny’ saved from HS2 – £36 billion pounds – into hundreds of new transport projects in the North and in the Midlands, as well as across the country.


He went on to say that the north would benefit from the new projects rather than HS2, saying he ‘challenges anyone to tell me with a straight face that all of that isn’t what the north really needs’.

Mr Sunak said: “With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes, Sheffield in 42 minutes, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line.”

He continued: “So those who wish to disagree with me, I respect that. But they should have the honesty to admit that they would now be cancelling the hundreds of alternative projects right across the country that people will benefit from instead.

“I think our plan is simply a better long term investment of £36 billion pounds of taxpayers money.” 


He also said that he will keep single bus fares capped at £2 ‘across the whole country’.

The prime minister added: “I say, to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed. And the right thing to do when the facts change, is to have the courage to change direction.

The anticipated announcement came after defence secretary Grant Shapps suggested a change in HS2 plans was thanks to fewer people travelling into work and instead choosing to work from home, following the coronavirus pandemic.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has labelled the, now confirmed, decision as ‘disgraceful’.

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Gary Neville welcomes new £400m five-star hotel and residences to Manchester

The world famous W Hotel and W Residences will open in 2027

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W Hotel & Residences Manchester / Relentless Developments

Exciting first look images are revealed for the hugely anticipated £400 million five-star hotel and residency set to open in 2027.

Gary Neville’s Relentless Developments has announced the St Michael’s development, currently being built between Deansgate and Albert Square, will be bringing with it a world famous hotel brand

The St Michael’s plot, soon to be home to luxury W Hotels and W Residences, will be the first outside London and one of 20 around the world, in a major deal with Marriott International. 

Relentless Developments

The glossy new arrival will see hotel-inspired living offered at St Michael’s 217 apartments, offering buyers the opportunity to purchase a permanent residence within Manchester’s most exclusive postcode. 

The iconic 41-storey tower will boast a 162-room hotel, with the tower also housing W Residences, a complex of 217 apartments which will be offered for sale from November, with occupancy also in 2027.

The live-in residences will also boast the facilities of the W Hotels, including 24-hour concierge (W’s whenever/wherever service), round-the-clock in-residence dining, laundry and dry cleaning, as well as the hotel’s gyms and other features.

Relentless Developments

“W Hotel and W Residences are going to put the distinctive 41-storey tower that is No.2 St Michael’s on the global map,” said Neville, Director, Relentless Developments.

“There is no better home for W Hotel in the North of England than Manchester.

This is a bold city which continues to defy expectations and which embodies the same values of originality and passion that have made the W Hotel experience world-renowned. 

Relentless Developments

“Situated alongside this, W Residences Manchester will be immersive, design-forward homes that will set a new standard in hotel-inspired living and massively raise the bar for city-centre home ownership.” 

“I’d like to thank Marriott International and our developer partner, Salboy, for seeing the potential in this scheme and remaining committed to our vision,” he added.

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