Pilot scheme to tackle bulging waistlines in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 June 2018

A healthy eating pilot scheme is being launched in Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Karyn Haddon

A healthy eating pilot scheme is being launched in Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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A new scheme is being piloted in Welwyn Hatfield in a bid to tackle bulging waistlines.

A small number of eateries across Welwyn and Hatfield have already signed up the scheme, Eat Out Eat Well, which is designed to make it easier for customers to make healthy food choices.

Food outlets will be supplied with information about healthier food, cooking methods and plate size.

Among those already signed up are 10 local businesses, including Campus West, Mill Green Museum, leisure facilities and an Indian restaurant.

And, once accredited, they’ll be able to show the scheme’s heart-shaped apple logo, in either bronze, silver or gold.

Members of Welwyn Hatfield Council hope the scheme will help residents to make better food choices.

They say that, according to data published by Public Health England, more than half of all adults living in Welwyn Hatfield are overweight.

And, they say, more than 28.6 per cent of children are overweight by the time they are in their final year at primary school.

The report, which was considered by members of the Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on Monday, states: “Obesity has now become a national epidemic.

“There is no simple or isolated resolution to this as the causes are a complex combination of social and economic factors including significant changes in food culture.

“The introduction of Eat Out Eat Well aims to help residents identify healthier food choices when eating out in Welwyn Hatfield, while respecting consumer choice, economic realities and ultimately the need to eat.”

The Eat Out Eat Well scheme has been developed by Surrey County Council and will be delivered locally by Environmental Health officers from Welwyn Hatfield Council, in conjunction with Public Health and Trading Standards teams from Hertfordshire County Council.

The scheme is being piloted in Welwyn Hatfield and, if successful, could then be rolled out across Hertfordshire.

Following the meeting a spokesperson for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “Obesity is a complex national problem and we are introducing Eat Out, Eat Well, a healthy eating award, to support a preventative approach to help tackle the issue locally.

“This aims to help residents identify healthier food choices when eating out and educate food business operators to encourage healthier food, cooking methods, and encourage the availability of smaller portion sizes.

“The scheme is in the early stages, but so far we are pleased to have started assessments with a small group of businesses and are happy to take nominations from both businesses and residents who would be interested in pursuing an award.”

More information can be found at www.welhat.gov.uk/eatouteatwell

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