A new initiative has been launched in Nottinghamshire this week which encourages takeaway food outlets to offer healthier choices to their customers.
The new Healthier Options Takeaway merit (HOT) scheme was launched by Nottinghamshire County Council with Environmental Health partners at Nottinghamshire’s district and borough councils.
The Healthier Options Takeaway project forms part of an approach to reduce obesity in Nottinghamshire, and 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.
The council believe that 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 who wish to make their food healthier without compromising on taste, are being encouraged to:
• Offer to grill, bake, poach or steam food instead of frying
• Remove salt from tables and counters so customers don’t just add it automatically
• Switch to wholegrain pasta, brown rice or wholegrain bread
• Offer a vegetable side or salad as a part of a meal option
• Switch from double cream to single cream, yoghurt or half fat crème fraiche
• Promote water
• Offer smaller portion options for adults.
The launch of the HOT scheme is just part of Nottinghamshire County Councils wider approach to tackling obesity in the county, where two in three adults are estimated to be overweight or obese.
Chair of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Joyce Bosnjak 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 was 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.
Mr Saied Omoomian, Café Olive owner said, “We’re delighted to continue to be part of the HOT merit scheme, and the healthier options that we offer have been really welcomed by our customers. It’s good for business if we can offer customers what they want, and we’re also aware of our responsibility to the health of our community.”
Councillor Debbie Mason, Portfolio Holder for Safety and Wellbeing, Rushcliffe Borough Council said, “We were really pleased to run the pilot for the Healthier Options Takeaway scheme in Rushcliffe and fully back the concept, so it’s great to see it rolling out across the whole county now”
Businesses who are interested in registering can go to www.nottinghamshrie.go.uk/hot