12th July 2012
Unilever encourages chefs to cut calories
Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) has launched a new campaign to encourage chefs to slash over 500 million calories from their dishes every day to help meet Government targets and tackle Britain’s obesity problem.
With a quarter of UK adults already classified as obese, chefs can help to improve the health of the nation by slicing just 24 calories from each dish helping to meet Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s national five billion calorie reduction a day target, according to Unilever.
To drive home the message, the global food giant recently partnered with BBC Celebrity MasterChef winner and healthy eating champion Lisa Faulkner to launch a calorie-busting ‘Ambu-lunch’ outside the Houses of Parliament.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley enjoyed a light lunch on board the converted ambulance, complete with working restaurant. The ‘Ambu-lunch’ is now visiting chefs around the country, driving awareness and providing tips on how to reduce calories.
“Eating and drinking too many calories is at the heart of the nation's obesity problem,” said Lansley. “We all have a role to play if we are going to cut five billion calories from our national diet each day, including making it possible to eat the meals we enjoy with fewer calories in them. The ‘Ambu-lunch’ activity is just one of the ways the foodservice industry is helping to achieve this.”
UFS’s latest World Menu Report called ‘Seductive Nutrition’ reveals that more than half of diners want healthier options when eating out, but just as many think nutritious options sound less appealing and that they’ll go home hungry. To dispel the myth, UFS is calling upon chefs to make slight changes to their top-selling dishes to nudge consumers towards healthier eating.
To this end, the company has launched a toolkit, ‘Seductive Nutrition’ to help chefs reduce the calories in their dishes, while still keeping taste a priority. The online Calorie Calculator allows chefs to understand better the calorie differences between ingredients and make healthier swaps and adjustment of portion sizes.
“We’re not asking chefs to overhaul their menus; if every chef reduces just 24 calories from each dish then the hospitality industry could contribute to improving the health of the nation,” commented Tracey Rogers, managing director of Unilever Food Solutions.
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