The new Healthier Choices Canberra initiative has officially launched, with over 30 businesses already signed on to improve the health and wellbeing of the Canberra community.
The initiative aims to make it easier for ACT residents to find “tasty, fresh and healthier food and drink options” at places such as club restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and entertainment venues.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said Healthier Choices Canberra was part of the Government’s commitment to reducing rates of preventable chronic disease and promoting wellbeing in the ACT community.
“Eating a variety of healthy foods is essential for good health and helps prevent disease,” Minister Fitzharris said.
“When you’re grocery shopping or enjoying time with the kids at a play centre, it can be hard to know what the healthier food and drinks are.
“Many of these participating businesses already have a range of healthier food and drink choices available. Healthier Choices Canberra will increase those options and make it easier for customers to spot them.”
The promotion of Healthier Choices Canberra was trialled in five businesses in 2016, receiving customer support for the trial, with businesses experiencing an increase in the sale of healthier products. The success of the pilot has led to the Canberra-wide launch of the initiative.
Minister Fitzharris said Healthier Choices Canberra had a particular emphasis on improving health and wellbeing outcomes for children in our community.
“What children eat now can determine their future health,” Minister Fitzharris said. “If children don’t make healthy eating choices now, they are at increased risk of developing serious health conditions as an adult.
“The best message we can give our kids – and ourselves – is to eat more vegies!”
Participating businesses willreceivenutritional information and advice on adapting their menu and dishes, and will promote healthier choices with criteria that align with the Australia Dietary Guidelines and Health Star Rating system. Businesses will be advertising their products to make it easier for customers to find their healthier choices.
Minister Fitzharris said she was looking forward to more ACT businesses joining the Healthier Choices Canberra program.
“This is just the beginning and I am confident many more businesses will come on board in the coming months,” Minister Fitzharris said.
For more information about Healthier Choices Canberra, visit act.gov.au/healthierchoices