Make healthier food choice the default option

Most health-conscious customers would ask for less sugar when ordering coffee at coffee shops.

Very often, we can hear such customers use the phrase "kopi siu dai", which means coffee with less sugar in coffee-shop lingo, when making such orders ("Drive health improvements by being a smart consumer" by Mr Matt Pasterfield; March 2).

Instead of making the healthy less-sugar choice the exception rather than the rule, it would be good for the relevant agencies and stakeholders to promote it as the "default" option.

Customers who want more sugar can ask for it when ordering.

I am sure coffee-shop owners would welcome such an initiative as it will lower their costs.

Likewise, instead of encouraging customers to ask for less oil and less salt when ordering cooked food in food centres, stall owners could perhaps be encouraged to cook with less oil and salt as the norm.

Customers who want more of these ingredients can always ask for them when ordering.

In short, we should make the healthier choice the rule, rather than the exception.

Ng Chee Kheon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'Make healthier food choice the default option'. Print Edition | Subscribe