Pizzas will have to shrink or lose their toppings under Governments plans to cap calories in our favourite treats to tackle obesity.
Proposals from Public Health England state pizzas should contain no more than 928 calories and pies should be at most 695 calories.
The ‘drastic’ guidelines will also apply to ready meals, sandwiches, cooking sauces, soups, burgers and processed meats.
It comes after figures yesterday revealed more than one in five children in the UK leave primary school carrying dangerous amounts of weight, while around 24,000 are ‘severely obese’.
Pizza sizes must be reduced to stop children getting obese, new recommendations state
Some children were found to be eating 500 calories a day above the government recommendations of 1,650 calories for a boy of seven and 1,500 calories for a girl of the same age.
PHE officials met with representatives from the food industry earlier this week to discuss the calorie reduction programme.
Fast food restaurants, coffee shops and pubs were all represented.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: ‘These are early days in the calorie reduction programme, but the food industry have a responsibility to act.
‘The simple truth is on average we need to eat less.
‘Children and adults routinely eat too many calories and it’s why we’ve seen severe obesity in 10 to 11-year-olds at an all time high.’
She added: ‘We hope to see early commitment from the food industry – including the people who make, sell and deliver our food – translated into real action, sooner rather than later.’
They come as official figures showed record numbers of children are severely obese by the time they leave primary school.
Health experts described the rise as a ‘catastrophe’.
The proportion of 10 and 11-year-olds who are overweight or obese has grown to 34.3 per cent – 197,888 children – compared with 31.6 per cent in 2016/17.
Latest data from the National Child Measurement Programme shows 4.2 per cent of Year 6 pupils in England were defined as severely obese, up from 3.6 in 2016/17.
Duncan Selbie, PHE’s chief executive, said excess calorie consumption is the food industry’s ‘next big challenge’.
In a statement released after the meeting, he added: ‘This is the promising start we need to succeed in reducing calories in the foods included in the programme by 20 per cent.’
Last December, PHE issued guidance to cut meals to just 1,600 calories a day and 200 calories for snacks.
Current recommendations are 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. Adults were told to limit themselves to 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner.