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Environmental health officers from the City of Wolverhampton Council have been working with proprietors of fast food restaurants to tackle one of the biggest public health issues facing the City - obesity.
They have encouraged takeaways to offer healthier options or make simple changes to ingredients or cooking techniques while still delivering tasty meals.
Over the last couple of years, officers have worked with 23 takeaways, from fish and chip shops to pizzerias, balti houses and Chinese takeaways, with a further 12 establishments on board which are set to make improvements to their menus in the near future.
Among those taking part in the initiative are Tiger, on Bilston Road, which has introduced a healthier menu offering a range of dishes under 500 calories, Oxley Fish Bar on Stafford Road, which now provides calorie information for its grill menu and a range of healthier options, and Lakshmi Sweet Centre on Dudley Road, which has reformulated a number of recipes and provides nutritional information to customers.
Other takeaways which have signed up to the scheme include East Park Chippy on Hollington Road; Dave's Fish Bar, Brooklands Parade; Penn Balti, Penn Road; Far East, Church Road; Grill It, Tettenhall Road; Pendeford Fish Bar, Haymarket; and Kaptin Korma, Warstones Drive.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Nearly 70% of adults in Wolverhampton are either overweight or obese, and with around 1 in 6 meals we eat made outside the home it is important that people are given the opportunity to eat as well and as healthily as possible.
"This is not about us telling customers what they can and cannot have, but about encouraging takeaways to offer healthier alternatives which customers can choose if that's what they want.
"And we know it can benefit both proprietors and consumers, because a recent survey found that two thirds of people would buy healthier options if takeaways offered them, while 77% said they would be more likely to visit a takeaway if it advertised healthier options."
Costa Xiourouppa, owner of the Newbridge Fryer and Grill It takeaways on Tettenhall Road, said: "The council has given me the support to make changes in my existing chip shop and to open a new grilled chicken business.
"With help from the initiative I can confidently advertise some of my already very popular dishes as healthier choices, which can only be a positive for both my existing and new customers."
And Mr Xiourouppa has gone one step further - teaming up with a local fitness centre to offer discounts at Grill It to gym customers.
Proprietors who would like advice about providing healthier options are asked to please contact Faye Pearson at the City of Wolverhampton Council on 01902 554343.
- released: Tuesday 1 August, 2017