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Healthier fast food

Boris Johnson leads healthy takeaway revolution in London
Healthier fast food Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

500 fast-food takeaways in the capital have signed up to an initiative that encourages them to sell healthier food, the Mayor of London has announced.

The Mayor also revealed that JJ Food Service, one of the largest suppliers of food to takeaways, is now promoting the Healthier Catering Commitment to the 13,000 restaurants they count as customers. JJ will encourage them to buy healthier ingredients and cooking products, meaning a potentially huge change in the food that takeaways across London sell to their customers.

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Obesity and takeaways

Recent research in Tower Hamlets revealed a portion of chips from one fast-food takeaway contained 1,865 calories, 93% of daily recommended intake, and 69g of fat. The research showed that portion sizes are increasing as takeaways compete for custom.

Poor eating habits are widely regarded to be one of the main causes of obesity. Londoners living or working close to clusters of takeaway outlets are twice as likely to be obese and more likely to eat unhealthy food.

Over half of the adult population in London is either obese or overweight . In young Londoners, one in five is obese and one in three is either obese or overweight.

Boris: ‘We are getting fatter’

Since 2012, the Mayor has supported Environmental Health and Public Health teams to deliver the Healthier Catering Commitment for London. 500 restaurants in 22 boroughs have signed up to the voluntary scheme that incentivises food outlets to make small changes to improve the quality of the food they sell.

‘It is terrible that as a city, and indeed as a nation, we are getting fatter. Throughout my mayoralty I’ve invested in grassroots sports and food programmes to get Londoners healthier and fitter, but we still need to do more to tackle our expanding waistlines.

‘Life in a busy city means that we inevitably enjoy fast food, whilst takeaway businesses make a great contribution to local economies and this scheme ensures takeaway food can be a healthier option.’

Boris Johnson MP, Mayor of London

The Healthier Catering Commitment

To help make London’s takeaways healthier, supplier JJ Food Service will offer a 10% discount off five Healthier Catering Commitment items for a full three months to customers who sign up to the Healthier Catering Commitment food award.

The Mayor’s Healthier Catering Commitment (HCC) is a voluntary scheme for food outlets in London to encourage them to improve their food offering. Participating restaurants, such as the Valley café in Charlton, are awarded with the HCC logo.

‘Getting JJ’s on board is a massive step forward for the Healthier Catering Commitment and I am encouraged that they are taking a lead to change the terrible health outcomes of so much of London’s fast food.

‘However, I would like to see even more changes to how takeaways operate. In some parts of the capital there are up to 40 fast food takeaways within half a mile of schools and many of them entice children by cutting their prices at school leaving time. Sadly, we can do nothing to stop that and at the moment all action is voluntary, but this must change in the future.’

Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board

Click here for more information on the Mayor’s Healthier Catering Commitment.

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