Do more to promote healthy eating

PHOTO: Do more to promote healthy eating

It has been three years since the Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched its Healthier Hawker Programme.

I was eagerly looking forward to seeing healthier dishes introduced in food establishments here but, sadly, this has not materialised.

Replying to a reader on government feedback website Reach in December last year, the HPB noted that since 2011, the programme has been launched in more than 40 hawker centres, coffee shops and foodcourts.

This is not a large number, considering the thousands of eateries in Singapore.

It seems that the programme has died a natural death, despite the fact that hawkers who participated reported a good response from customers.

I was delighted to read that a Healthier Dining Programme is being introduced ("Eateries to serve 500-calorie meals in HPB scheme"; June 5).

But the programme targets restaurants, caterers and foodcourts, and not neighbourhood hawker centres and coffee shops.

The HPB should accord higher priority to programmes that target average Singaporeans, who may be less well informed about healthy food choices, eat out often and have fewer resources to prepare healthy dishes on their own.

Chang Nam Yuen

This article was first published on June 16, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.