Blog: Healthy living gets a boost in Scotland

Catherine Sleep | 14 November 2006

Scotland gets a lukewarm press when it comes to food. Its most famous gastronomic export is haggis, which is okay as far as it goes but not to everyone’s taste. Then there’s the allegedly delicious gut buster the Deep Fried Mars Bar, which again does little to garner critical appreciation from culinary experts.

A new survey commissioned by the Scottish Consumer Council casts a more optimistic light on the future of healthy food in Scotland, though. It found nearly one in two Scots polled (45%) have wanted to choose something healthy to eat and have not found anything suitable on the menu. This indicates that there is a growing desire to eat healthily, which is a great starting point for change.

Given the increase in eating out, encouraging consumers to take the good habits it is hoped they are cultivating at home with them into restaurants is vital. Of those asked, 94% agreed it was important that healthier choices were available to people who eat out and 88% agreed that healthy options can be made to taste as good as less healthy fare.

Of course the other half of the equation is the caterers – they need to be keen to help their customers make good choices. They have just been given a new incentive. The healthyliving award is a recently launched initiative for the food service sector throughout Scotland, funded by the Scottish Executive and managed by the Scottish Consumer Council. It aims to reward caterers for making it easier for customers to eat healthily when eating out

To achieve a healthyliving award applicants must make broad changes to the way food is prepared, for example using healthier ingredients and cooking methods, providing and promoting healthier menu choices and implementing an appropriate sales promotion and marketing strategy.

Let’s hope the applications come flooding in.


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