Hounslow Council is encouraging local food outlets across the borough to step up their commitment in increasing the amount of healthier choices on offer for residents.
As part of the Healthier Commitment for London award, the aim is for outlets, including fast food businesses, to reduce the use of foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar – all of which contribute to obesity and other illnesses.
Childhood obesity rates across London are on the increase. Surveys show that 20.7 per cent of four-five year olds and 39.4 per cent of 10-11 year olds in Hounslow are carrying excess weight.
Around 17,519 of local residents aged 17 and over, are now living with diabetes, including Type 2 diabetes.
The Healthier Commitment for London award is also looking to help Hounslow food outlets increase customer satisfaction and sales, while at the same time, being a part of improving the health of their community.
Many London businesses that have previously signed up, have reported an increase in both visitor numbers and that of returning customers.
All registered food businesses with a Food Hygiene Rating Score of at least three, are eligible to apply. Local businesses must consider the use of oils, fats and salt and the availability of fruit and vegetables and low-sugar drinks and snacks to meet a minimum of eight criteria from a list of 22.
There are four compulsory criteria to meet with a further three required for businesses which fry food.
Those companies successfully meeting the criteria will be awarded a certificate and window sticker to promote their achievements.
Councillor Corinna Smart, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Leisure, Hounslow Council, said: “From promoting reduced sugar drinks to offering healthier options such as salads and jacket potatoes food businesses in Hounslow can make small changes.
“It provides customers with the chance to really think about what they eat, how it is cooked, ingredients and to check on the levels of sugar and salt intake. Many of our local businesses do this already, but we need more to get on board.”
For more details on the Healthier Catering Commitment for London, contact Geraldene Wan