Healthier catering initiatives in London, UK: An effective tool for encouraging healthier consumption behaviour?

Bagwell, Sue Healthier catering initiatives in London, UK: An effective tool for encouraging healthier consumption behaviour? Unknown. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The increasing amount of ‘unhealthy’ food consumed outside the home is thought to be a major contributory factor to growing levels of obesity. To tackle the problem and promote changes in catering and consumption behaviour, initiatives designed to encourage out-of-home caterers to provide healthier menus or adopt healthier cooking practices have been developed. Such voluntary agreements, rather than legislation, are the UK government’s preferred strategy. This paper reports on and explores issues arising from an evaluation of one such initiative – the Healthier Catering Commitment, piloted with over 80 independent businesses in London in the UK. Analysis of data on take-up of the scheme, and interviews with businesses and those involved in assessing them against the scheme’s criteria, suggests the extent to which businesses are prepared to make changes to their catering practices. Operational barriers as well as aspects of the local trading environment, are shown to impact on the level of business commitment to the initiative. In considering the degree to which the scheme’s criteria inform, widen or restrict consumer choice, the paper adds to the debate on effective strategies for encouraging behaviour change. It also comments on the extent to which voluntary agreements are likely to be an effective means of ensuring a healthier food environment, and the extent to which government intervention is justified in the interests of improving public health and tackling health inequalities

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: consumption; healthy public policy; health inequalities
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: David Pester
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 19:22
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2016 19:22
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/878

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