Redbridge wins healthy eating grant from Mayor of London
- Credit: PA
Redbridge Council has been awarded a £5,000 grant from the Mayor of London to expand healthy eating options.
The council was only one of five London boroughs to be awarded a grant from the Mayor’s Good Food Retail Project to support its efforts to ensure that more healthier food is available across the borough.
The council applied for the funding as part of a health strategy, which includes adopting a broader approach to tackling obesity running alongside the Healthy Catering Commitment (HCC) scheme.
The HCC award scheme recognises and promotes catering businesses that are embracing a move towards healthier food options.
The project is in partnership with the charity Sustain, which advocates for better food and farming practices across the country.
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The scheme will focus on areas where there is currently a reduced access to healthier food products.
The latest figures from Public Health England show that 60per cent of adults in Redbridge were classed as overweight or obese in 2018-19, the latest period for which data is available.
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A principal aim of the scheme is for retailers to increase the take-up of Healthy Start welfare vouchers for children and families on a low income, who are most at risk of experiencing food poverty.
Shops, including convenience stores, will be encouraged to stock healthy, affordable food product low in salt, sugar and fats.
Additional steps might include stocking fresh fruit at the counter as a to-go snack, or re-arranging the way cereal is displayed, so high sugar options are further away from eye-level.
Organisations such as Ilford BID and Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure will also work alongside food retailers to improve or change to healthier options.
Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, social care mental health and the ageing, said as there is mounting evidence that indicates obesity is an independent risk factor for severe illness and death from Covid-19, even small changes can make a large impact on the health of the community.