The Healthy Options Award has been developed to reward caterers throughout Wales who make it easier for their customers to make healthy choices when eating out. It has three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold, and is symbolised by the apple logo with heart shaped pips.
Who runs the award?
The award scheme and assessment process are administered jointly through a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and the Hywel Dda Health Board.
What are the aims?
The Award aims to encourage food businesses to provide healthier options to customers, through the use of healthier catering practices, increasing fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, and decreasing fat, especially saturated fat, sugar and salt. It also recognises provision of healthy options for children, and rewards staff training and the promotion and marketing of healthier options.
Why is it important?
Eating out increasingly plays an important part in our lives - over one third of all money spent on food and drink in Wales is eaten outside of the home; and people are increasingly looking for healthy options to help support healthier lifestyles.
The National Statistics Family Food Survey 2005-2006, shows that just under a third of all money spent on food and drink (excl. alcohol) in the UK was on that consumed outside the home. Food consumed outside the home tends to be higher in added sugar and slightly higher in fat than food prepared at home.
A diet high in saturated fats has been associated with an increased risk of obesity and Coronary Heart Disease.
Currently in Wales, over half the adult population is classed as overweight or obese.
38% of children are classified as overweight or obese including 20% of these, so 1 in 5 obese.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of a range of diseases - high blood pressure, type II diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and stroke. Circulatory diseases such as heart disease and stroke are the most common cause of death in Wales, accounting for 32% of premature deaths in men and 23% of premature deaths in women.
Caterers can make a big difference!