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Healthier eating hots up

Posted onPosted on 14th Jan

Takeaway businesses across Nottinghamshire are being supported to offer healthier choices to their customers in a new Healthier Options Takeaway merit (HOT) scheme being launched by Nottinghamshire County Council with Environmental Health partners at Nottinghamshire’s district and borough councils.

The Healthier Options Takeaway project, which forms part of an approach to reduce obesity in Notts, rewards takeaways and sandwich shops that make simple changes to how they prepare, cook or display their food to make it that little bit healthier. Offering more choice to customers will also give a competitive advantage to businesses in a market where people are increasingly looking for ways to achieve a balanced diet.

Businesses that meet the criteria for the scheme will be able to display the HOT branding in their premises to let customers know that healthier options are available, and will be added to an online database on the Nottinghamshire County Council website;

Takeaways will be scored on how they already sell and promote healthier alternatives, and are being asked to make at least three new pledges to make changes to their menu or practices. There are lots of simple steps businesses can take to make their food healthier without compromising on taste, for example:

• Offering to grill, bake, poach or steam food instead of frying
• Removing salt from tables and counters so customers don’t just add it automatically
• Switching to wholegrain pasta, brown rice or wholegrain bread
• Offering a vegetable side or salad as a part of a meal option
• Switching from double cream to single cream, yoghurt or half fat crème fraiche
• Promoting water or low sugar drinks, or
• Offering smaller portion options for adults.

The launch of the HOT scheme is just part of a wider approach to tackling obesity in Nottinghamshire, where two in three adults are estimated to be overweight or obese. Excess weight and poor diet is linked to a range of long term illnesses including type-2 diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, heart disease and certain cancers.

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, Chair of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board said: “Tackling obesity is a priority for the Health and Wellbeing Board, and looking at ways in which we can help people to achieve a more balanced diet when eating outside of the home is just one of the ways we’re looking at addressing this issue.

“Particularly in the New Year, we’re all thinking a little bit more about our diet. This isn’t about making sweeping changes to how people eat, but about working with businesses and residents to consider different ways of preparing or serving food so that people can still have that treat, but without some of the guilt.”

The HOT scheme has been trialled in Rushcliffe and is being launched at one of the outlets which has been registered since early 2014, Café Olive on Radcliffe Road in West Bridgford which has been offering hot and cold breakfasts and lunches for nine years.

Businesses who are interested in registering to be a Healthier Options Takeaway can talk to their local Environmental Health officer, or find out more information on the County Council website. Takeaways must have a Food Hygiene Rating of three or more to apply.