British Chefs Urged to Trim Calories in Meals


LONDON — A new British campaign, aimed at meeting government calorie targets, is asking chefs to cut calories from their dishes to help address the nation’s obesity problem.

Unilever Food Solutions spearheaded the campaign and has partnered with chef Lisa Faulkner, a champion of healthy eating.

The company launched the drive with Britain’s health secretary, Andrew Lansley, on board the ambu-lunch (left) — a converted ambulance complete with a kitchen. The ambu-lunch is touring the country, providing chefs with tips on how to reduce calories.

Faulkner says the influence chefs have on our diets shouldn’t be overlooked. “I’ve worked in a variety of professional kitchens, and I’ve realized how much influence chefs have [on] our diets.”

“We want to raise awareness to chefs — they have the power to make changes that won’t impact taste or quality,” said Tracey Rogers, managing director, Unilever Food Solutions. Menu changes and offering a stand-out feature dish will, says Rogers, “help make Britain healthier, meet government targets, and benefit our business, because increased customer satisfaction boosts sales.”

A new toolkit has been created to help chefs reduce calories on menus. The kit gives access to an online calculator, which can guide chefs by showing calorie differences between ingredients and portion sizes.

One quarter of British adults are classified as obese. The campaign urges chefs to reduce each dish by 24 calories. Doing so would meet the health secretary’s national five-billion calorie reduction per day target.

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