Embrace the Trend of Healthy Eating

Unhealthy eating habit is closely linked to the development of obesity and increases the risk of chronic diseases including heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes and some cancers, which accounted for about 60% of all registered deaths in Hong Kong in 2017.

Food premises are important partners in healthy eating promotion as eating out is common among Hong Kong people. According to the Population Health Survey 2014/15 conducted by the Department of Health (DH), over 80% of persons aged 15 or above reported eating out (including breakfast, lunch and dinner as a whole) at least once a week. Analysed by age group, 65% of persons aged 15 to 34 reported that they ate out for lunch 5 times or more a week. Another study conducted in 2016 showed that over 90% of the respondents preferred to have healthier options in the menus when they were eating out. When eating out or ordering takeaway food, 72% of respondents would choose dishes with more fruit and vegetables, while 72% to 77% would choose dishes with less oil, salt and sugar. The study also found that over 70% of respondents considered the food they consumed contained too much oil and fat, whereas over 60% considered the food contained too much salt. Over 70% of them considered the portion of vegetables provided was not enough, with more than 80% reckoning the portion of fruit provided was inadequate.

The DH has launched the “EatSmart@restaurant.hk” Campaign (ESR Campaign) since April 2008, whereby the public can easily savour the “EatSmart Dishes” which include “More Fruit and Vegetables” dishes and “3 Less” dishes (less fat or oil, salt and sugar) when eating out. In the study in 2016, 76% of the interviewed EatSmart Restaurants (ESRs) observed an increase in customers who chose EatSmart Dishes; 40% believed that customers came to their restaurants because they were ESRs; and 24% said that sales had increased since their restaurants became ESRs. As for customers, around 90% said that they would patronise ESRs that provide healthier dishes again.

To encourage restaurants to provide a wider choice of healthy dishes and assist members of the public in putting healthy eating into practice, the DH launched the “EatSmart Restaurant Star+” Campaign (ESR Star+ Campaign) as the enhanced version of the ESR Campaign in 2019. Under a new star-rating scheme, ESRs will be classified into one-star, two-star or three-star.

We encourage restaurants to embrace the trend of healthy eating and nutritional cooking by creating signature “EatSmart Dishes”, which give the public a wider range of healthier choices. By joining the ESR Star+ Campaign, you can attract more customers who are health-conscious.

Eatsmart Restaurant