Provide healthier menu, food outlets urged

Azlan Othman

Food outlets participating in the Healthy Dining Programme by the Health Promotion Centre must fulfil the Healthy Dining guideline in which restaurants, cafes and eateries must serve at least 25 per cent of healthier choice menu.

The menus will be analysed by trained professionals of the Health Promotion Centre.

Participating food outlets will provide customers with healthier food options in moderate portion sizes, cater to less sugar, salt or oil requests and allow customers to choose healthier options from the existing menu. Food and beverages considered healthier will be labelled with a Healthier Choice Logo.

This was highlighted by the Health Promotion Centre (HPC), Ministry of Health (MoH) at the launch of Healthy Dining Programme at Aminah Arif Restaurant in Jerudong yesterday.

Head of the Health Promotion Centre Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim was the guest of honour. Senior officers, officers of the MoH and guests were also present.

HPC continuously collaborateS with food outlets in Brunei Darussalam to improve the country’s food environment and to cater to customers’ healthier preferences.

The Healthy Dining Programme was re-launched in 2019 as an initiative to increase availability and accessibility of healthier food in the country.

Head of the Health Promotion Centre Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim presents a healthy dining certificate to Aminah Arif Restaurant owner Hajah Nikmah binti Haji Ibrahim. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Food outlets such as dine-in restaurants, drinks outlets and cafés are encouraged to provide a wide variety of healthier items and participate in the programme.

The eligibility of the food outlet will be assessed by HPC.

To ensure compliance of the participating food outlets, HPC will conduct random inspections
and monitoring.

Since the launch of the programme, diners can choose healthier dishes when eating out or having take-aways in selected food outlets.

HPC said with the launch of the programme, the MoH through the Health Promotion Centre will continue to support food outlets keen to serve healthier food.

The MoH will continue to educate and increase awareness on the importance of healthy eating as well as the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Brunei Darussalam to achieve its 2035 Vision ‘Together Towards a Healthy Nation’ and Brunei Darussalam’s Vision 2035: High quality of life.

At present, there are 10 food outlets participating in the programme, varying from dine-in restaurants to drink outlets, including Aminah Arif Restaurant.

Forty-four per cent of the menu items at the restaurant are considered healthier options, including ikan ampap, ikan rebus, ikan rebus asam pedas, soto ayam and soto daging.

On the launch, the restaurant’s General Manager Mohd Nazri bin Haji Azahari said its popular traditional delicacy Ambuyat provides an added advantage in promoting healthy food.

“The Healthy Dining Programme is one of the strategies and initiatives by HPC with the aspiration for Bruneians to be healthy and energetic by enhancing the level of awareness, knowledge and understanding on health matters, especially relating to healthy lifestyle and prevention of non-communicable disease,” he said.