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Making the healthy choice

Making the healthy choice

Over half of people find it difficult to make the healthier choice

People find it difficult to choose healthier food when eating out, with 56% or more finding it difficult to make healthier choices in takeaways, leisure facilities, fast food restaurants, restaurants and pubs, local shops, newsagents or garage forecourts and cafés and sandwich shops. This is according to a consumer survey carried out by the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland. 

The Eating Well Choosing Better Tracking Survey is an annual survey to find out what people in Northern Ireland think about healthy eating, traffic light labels, reformulation, and calorie information. This report highlights findings from the seventh survey carried out between August and October 2021. 

Findings include:

  • 87% of participants were familiar with traffic light labels and 79% understood what they were for. 
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of people said they choose foods with healthier traffic light colours always/most times.
  • Most participants said would be more likely to buy food reduced in sugar (64%), saturated fat (51%) and salt (50%) instead of the regular version. 
  • More participants (67%) agreed that they look out for healthier options when food shopping, when compared to previous survey (61%).
  • People want healthier food to be available in takeaways (51%), fast food restaurants (49%), restaurants and pubs (42%), leisure facilities (41%) and vending machines (35%).
  • One fifth of people are aware of the recommended daily calorie intake for their gender. These findings are much lower than in wave 6 which suggests more promotion of the recommended daily calorie allowance is needed.

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