Healthy eating initiative expands its reach

Daniel Lim

A restaurant was awarded the ‘seal of approval’ for its healthy menu and becoming the latest restaurant in Kuala Belait to become part of the Health Promotion Centre’s (HPC) Healthy Dining Programme yesterday.

The Healthy Dining Programme, implemented by the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health (MoH), aims to improve Brunei’s food environment by increasing the availability of a healthier food option.

According to the HPC, with the inclusion of Zaika Restaurant, there are now 21 food outlets in the country participating in the programme.

A short ceremony was held yesterday morning at the restaurant located along Jalan Bunga Raya to commemorate the occasion. Senior Medical Officer at the MoH Dr Norsilmi Niza binti Haji Mat Zainin, other senior officers and officers from the HPC attended.

“With 12 years of history embedded in our Belait Community, the opportunity to participate in the Healthy Dining Programme is one that we take great pride in,” said Director of Zaika Restaurant Muhammad Afiq bin Musa.

Director of Zaika Restaurant Muhammad Afiq bin Musa receiving certification to be part of HPC’s Healthy Dining Programme. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

He also said that he looks forward to contributing to society through their offering of in-house menu in support of the HPC’s effort in encouraging Bruneians to live a healthy and active lifestyle, further adding that, “We will do our part in providing fresh, safe and good quality nourishment to promote healthy diets”.

To be part of the programme, Zaika Restaurant needed to have 25 per cent of their food menu contain less sugar, salt or oil. Their menu comfortably filled that requirement with more than 75 per cent considered ‘healthy’ by the HPC.

With unhealthy diets being one of the contributing factors to mortality worldwide and lost years of good health, the HPC aims to take action in stopping the increase in unhealthy consumption of food and beverages, especially those high in salt, sugar and trans-fat.

HPC is also taking the initiative to help implement and promote healthier options; with the Healthy Dining Programme being one of them, as it aims to create a local market environment that is conducive to supporting healthier eating while also fostering a culture and practice of healthier food choice among food outlet owners, managers and customers.