HPB, supermarkets and manufacturers team up to get Singaporeans to eat healthy at home

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) wants Singaporeans to eat healthier meals at home, by encouraging them to buy more nutritious foods, such as those with higher whole-grain content.
The Health Promotion Board (HPB) wants Singaporeans to eat healthier meals at home, by encouraging them to buy more nutritious foods, such as those with higher whole-grain content.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The Health Promotion Board (HPB) wants Singaporeans to eat healthier meals at home, by encouraging them to buy more nutritious foods, such as those with higher whole-grain content.

Over the next four months, products which bear the Healthier Choice Symbol will be display more prominently along supermarket aisles, along with promotions, contests and roving cooking classes to raise awareness of these healthier options.

The "Shop Healthy. Get More From Life" campaign, launched on Saturday, will run at 235 supermarket outlets islandwide till November 30.

It is a collaborative effort involving the HPB and major chains Cold Storage, FairPrice, Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong, as well as food manufacturers including Ayam Brand, Nestle and Prima Taste.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who kicked off the campaign, said: "With 68 per cent of Singaporeans having at least one meal a day at home, supermarket chains and food manufacturers are natural partners in our efforts to nudge people to use healthier ingredients when preparing home-cooked meals."

Associate Professor Faishal noted that a national nutrition survey conducted in 2010 showed a "worrying trend", with Singaporeans eating more saturated fats and not enough whole-grains , and the campaign hopes to address this.

The study also found an increase in the proportion of Singaporeans who added sugar to their beverages, contributing an excess of about 10 per cent more calories than needed, he pointed out.

Food products with Healthier Choice Symbols are generally lower in fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, and higher in dietary fibre, calcium, and whole-grains.

There are currently about 2,500 such products in market, across 70 food categories, including rice, milk, dairy products, cooking oils , sauces and drinks.