FSA Wales partners Healthy Options Award
Thursday 26 June 2008
FSA Wales have worked in partnership with local authorities, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the National Public Health Service (NPHS) to develop an all-Wales Healthy Options Award. The award is based on a scheme that was developed by Caerphilly County Borough Council and was launched on 1 April following a successful pilot.
Eating out is increasingly part of our everyday life, and food eaten outside of the home tends to be higher in added sugar and fat than food prepared at home, and can also be higher in salt.
Currently, more than half the adult population in Wales is classified as being overweight or obese and almost one in five 13-year-olds. The National Statistics Family Food Survey in 2006 found that just over a third of all money spent on food and drink (excluding alcohol) in Wales was on that consumed outside the home. People in Wales also eat more meat products, fish and fish products and potatoes than England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Caterers can therefore make a significant contribution to improving diet in Wales.
Catering premises in possession of a food hygiene award are eligible to be assessed for a Healthy Options Award. The award, which has three tiers – bronze, silver and gold – recognises and encourages catering premises to provide healthier options to customers. This is achieved through employment of healthier catering practices and by providing meals more in balance with the eatwell plate model. This increases fruit and vegetable and complex carbohydrates, and decreases fat, especially saturated fat, sugar and salt. The award also recognises provision of healthy options for children, and rewards staff training and promotion and marketing of these healthier options. There is a commitment to evaluate the scheme after the first year. Within a month of its the launch, nearly 30 catering premises were presented a Healthy Options award by local authorities across Wales.
Materials for delivery of the award can be accessed from the CIEH Wales website at the link below.