Headlines: December 17th, 2008

A scheme to improve the nutritional content of take-away food is being pioneered by Liverpool City Council. The Eatright Campaign has been launched following a 1.5 million pound investment by the city’s Primary Care Trust.

The money has been given to Trading Standards staff who found in a survey in 2006 that many take-away meals had excessive levels salt and fat which could lead to obesity and heart disease. Under the scheme nutritional experts will work with take-away outlets and even suggest changes to recipes where it is possible that dishes can be made in a healthier way. The team will work to ensure that the look, flavour and cost of the meals stay the same but restaurants and other outlets taking part in the campaign will retain the final say on any modifications to ingredients.

The Primary Care Trust says 40 per cent of people in Liverpool eat take-aways or fast food once or twice a week and it believes it is important to do all it can to ensure the meals are as healthy as possible. Berni Turner, the City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment said local people were becoming more aware of the link between their health and the food they ate.

The initiative has the backing of the Food Standards Agency where the Head of Nutrition, Rosemary Hignett, said, “People are eating takeaways and dining out more and more, so we warmly welcome this work which will help people in Liverpool make healthier choices. It also complements activity the FSA is currently undertaking with large takeaway chains at a national level.”