HEALTHIER DINING PROGRAMME EXTENDED TO INCLUDE FOOD IN HAWKER CENTRES AND COFFEE SHOPS
HPB has been extending its Healthier Dining Programme to include hawker centres and coffee shops. This will increase the availability, accessibility and variety of healthier and tasty meal options and to improve Singaporeans’ eating habits and dietary quality when dining out.
According to the National Nutrition Survey 2010, 60% of Singaporeans eat out for lunch and/ or dinner at least four times a week. As an eat-out meal usually contains an average of 700-800 calories, it is easy for Singaporeans to exceed their recommended daily energy intake. Excess calorie intake and poor diet quality are major risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes.
The Health Promotion Board (HPB) introduced the Healthier Dining Programme in June 2014, to make it easier for Singaporeans to adopt a healthier diet when they eat out. Since the launch of the Healthier Dining Programme, there are now more than 1,600 F&B partner outlets island wide such as restaurants, cafes, food kiosks and caterers, and food courts, on board the programme. As of end of March 2017, the number of healthier meals sold has also increased three-fold from 7.5 million in 2014 to 26 million.
Extension of the Healthier Dining Programme to Hawker Centres and Coffee Shops
With the extension of the Healthier Dining Programme, more than 2,700 F&B stalls across more than 60 hawker centres and 450 coffee shops have come on board the programme, offering at least one healthier option in their menus. Some of our everyday hawker fare are not only affordable, but are also lower in calories and healthier. HPB has also identified about 65 types of dishes (the full list can be found in Annex A) among our everyday hawker fare that are already lower in calories, such as mee soto and fishball noodles. Through the “lower in calories” visual identifiers tagged at the stalls, consumers can easily identify dishes that are healthier.
Healthier meals that are at 500 calories or below need not be lesser in portion. Dishes that qualify as healthier meals are based on the ingredients used, the way the food is prepared, the recipe and the portions offered which will help Singaporeans keep to the daily recommended calorie intake.
HPB aims to ensure that by 2019, four in ten stalls in every hawker centre and coffee shop in Singapore will have at least one healthier food option on their menu. It will continue to engage and partner the F&B outlets, hawker centres and coffee shops, to ensure that consumers can benefit from a wider variety of healthier meals, increasing the ease of leading a healthier lifestyle and adopting healthier eating habits.
Besides our work in the F&B outlets, HPB is also moving upstream and working with food manufacturers to develop healthier staple food ingredients such as wholegrain rice, wholegrain noodles and healthier cooking oils. HPB will continue to engage industry partners and seek their views to further expand their range of healthier food products.
About Healthier Dining Programme
The Healthier Dining Programme was launched to make it easier for Singaporeans to choose healthier food options when they eat out. Under the Programme, HPB partners the food and beverage industry to make lower calorie meals, meals prepared with healthier ingredients (such as wholegrain staples) and reduced-sugar beverages and water a prominent part of their menu offerings. Singaporeans can have a selection of healthier and tasty food, such as 500-calorie meal, at restaurants, cafes, food kiosks and caterers, and food courts.
About Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre
Under the Healthier Dining Programme, 67% (47 out of 70) of the stalls at the Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre offer at least one healthier food or lower sugar drink options. Currently, 36 of the food stalls offer a total of 53 lower-calorie dishes, such as Dry Wanton Noodles and Chicken Tomato Spaghetti. There are also 18 dishes, such as Fried Fish Lor Mee and Mee Siam which have been certified through a case-by-case food analysis. This is based on the stall meeting the Healthier Dining Programme Nutrient Guidelines.
The drink stalls also include visual cues to remind consumers to opt for drinks with less or no sugar. For packaged drinks, there is also the option to choose those with the Healthier Choice Symbol, which contain at least 25% less sugar compared to regular sweetened beverages from the same category.
On average, an adult male requires about 2,200 calories a day, while an average female requires about 1,800 calories a day. These values are calculated based on the average weight and level of physical activity of a typical Singaporean male and female. However, it is important to note that the daily calorie intake would vary depending on different factors, such as age, gender, weight, and activity level. For instance, a desk-bound office worker will not require as many calories as a sales person who is constantly on the move.