The campaign is being rolled out in and around Harrogate following a successful pilot project in the Scarborough area in partnership with participating food businesses. It is part of the county council’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of people in North Yorkshire by tackling obesity and encouraging physical leisure activities.
County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities said:
At present, around 68 per cent of adults in our county are overweight or obese against a national average of 64 per cent.
This is something we need to address to improve the overall health of our residents.
We are already funding weight management programmes across the county in conjunction with district and borough council colleagues, and we are going through the process of rewriting the North Yorkshire Healthy Weight, Active Lives Strategy to revisit the priorities that support people of all ages to do more exercise and improve their eating habits.
This new healthier eating campaign will contribute significantly to this work.
The new “healthier choices” campaign will see officers from the County Council’s Trading Standards team out and about, working with food businesses in and around Harrogate and promoting a free gold, silver and bronze certification scheme. Sabine Da Silva of Nutrition Joes was there to meet to meet Cllr Chance and to see some of the campaign material.
The certificates will be awarded to food preparation businesses that pro-actively introduce a range of healthier food choices for their customers, such as different portion sizes, reduction of sugars and salts in the ingredients, and promoting water and low-sugar drinks over high-sugar alternatives.
The changes the businesses have brought in will be assessed against set criteria and a points total calculated. The points total equates to a gold, silver or bronze rating and a certificate is awarded.
Cllr Chance said:
Businesses may also be offered the opportunity to take part in workshops designed to explore potential menu improvements that can help them grow their businesses as well as contributing to the fight against obesity in the county.