Takeaway businesses in Mansfield and Ashfield are being encouraged to offer healtheir choices to customers in a new Healthier Options Takeaway (HOT) merit scheme.
The HOT project, launched by Nottinghamshire County Council, aims to reduce obesity in Nottingham through rewarding takeaways and sandwich shops that make simple changes to how they prepare, cook or display their food to make it healthier.
It is estimated 70.5 per cent of adults in Mansfield and 69 per cent in Ashfield are overweight, higher than the national average of 63.8 per cent.
Busineses that meet the criteria for the scheme will display the HOT branding in their premises to let customers know healthier options are available.
Takeaways will be scored on how they sell and promote healthier alternatives.
They are being asked to make simple changes to make their food healthier, such as offering to grill or bake food instead of frying, switching to wholegrain pasta and brown rice or promoting water and low sugar drinks.
The HOT scheme was trialled in Rushcliffe. Café Olive, on Radcliffe Road in West Bridgeford, has been registered on the scheme since early 2014.
Mr Saied Omoomian, owner of Café Olive, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the HOT merit scheme, and the healthier options that we offer have been really welcomed by our customers.
“It’s good for business if we can offer customers what they want, and we’re also aware of our responsibility to the health of our community.”
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, Chair of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Tackling obesity is a priority for the Health and Wellbeing Board, and looking at ways which we can help people to acheive a more balanced diet when eating outside of the home is just one of the ways we’re looking at addressing the issue.
“Particularly in the New Year, we’re all thinking a little bit more about our diet. This isn’t about making sweeping changes to how people eat, but about working with businesses and residents to consider different ways of preparing or serving food so that people can still have that treat, but without some of the guilt.”
A list of businesses with the HOT merit is available HERE.