Catering Scotland

Scotland’s Healthy Aspirations: The Proof’s In The Pudding

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Scotland’s Healthy Aspirations: The Proof’s In The Pudding

October 21
20:07 2013
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The survey* also found that two thirds of workers would like food outlets to actively promote healthier food options by making fruit more visible or offering healthy lunchtime meal deals.

With attitudes towards healthier lifestyles changing for the better, these days, it should come as no surprise that just over two fifths (41%) of workers questioned believe they are able to work more effectively when they eat something healthy at lunchtime. However, several respondents confessed to indulging in a pie or sausage roll (12%), chips (9%), burger (5%) or pizza (4%) as their usual midday meal when sourcing lunch from a food outlet in or near their workplace.

 

To help combat the ever-growing threat of obesity in Scotland, the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, together with TV nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, recently dished up some healthy treats supplied by mobile catering unit and healthyliving award-holder, Streetlife Fare, for lunchtime crowds in Edinburgh’s Festival Square.

 

Having held the healthyliving award accreditation for the last six years, Streetlife Fare offers a different take on the city’s lunchtime eating habits. Founder David Haggarty believes that snack vans have always held a reputation for serving up greasy foods, but that the recent YouGov research demonstrates that although workers are more health-conscious these days, they can’t always access or easily recognise healthier options:

‘In common with much of the developed world, obesity levels pose real risks to Scotland’s health,’ he explains. ‘However, I am encouraged to see that much of the population wants to be able to choose a healthy lunch in the workplace. Apart from providing more nutrition and helping people to better apply themselves in their professional roles, it can also positively influence other food eaten throughout the day by them and their families.

 

‘To ensure we remain HLA-accredited year on year, half of our menu is now made up of healthier options – from soups and rolls to wraps and baguettes – all freshly made and salt-free.

‘The award ensures that our customers have access to healthier food choices and most of them seem to love it.’

 

Launched in 2006, the healthyliving award makes it easier for the public to know where to go for healthier options when eating out. Award holders must demonstrate the use of healthier ingredients and cooking methods to keep fat, salt and sugar to a minimum, while ensuring that options such as low-fat dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and drinking water are always available.

 

Health guru Amanda Hamilton agrees: ‘The average time we have to eat lunch on a working day is just 36 minutes in the UK, so it’s clear that buying decisions are made quickly. It’s my belief that many people want to eat more healthily, but practicalities often get in the way, so if lots of outlets and caterers get involved in this initiative – which ultimately helps to distinguish where one can access healthier food – it could really help people make better choices, more of the time.’

 

More than 650 establishments across Scotland currently hold the healthyliving award, including cafes, sandwich shops, workplace restaurants, colleges, B&Bs and many others. With nearly half of Scotland’s workforce looking to make more considered choices, particularly over the lunch period, now is the time to increase the availability of healthier options on offer.

 

www.healthylivingaward.co.uk

 

 *All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Fieldwork was undertaken online between 16th–19th March 2012, and total sample size was 1,068, of which 638 were Scottish workers.

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A recent YouGov survey has revealed that 44% of Scottish workers would be more likely to buy a healthier lunch on the go if a better range of meals or snacks was available close to their workplace…

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