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Western Leisure Services introduce innovative healthy eating menus
Western Leisure Services (WLS) have achieved a first in Melbourne’s west by developing café menus that are fully compliant with the guidelines set out by Victoria’s advisory board on healthy eating.
The food and drinks served within the two main recreational facilities managed by Western Leisure Services - AquaPulse and Eagle Stadium - sees them become the first major recreational centres in Melbourne’s west to comply with the Healthy Choices traffic light guidelines as laid out by the Healthy Eating Advisory Service of Victoria.
This major achievement in the field of healthy eating is the culmination of a continued push from within Western Leisure Services and Wyndham City Council to lead the way in the fight against obesity and chronic disease.
It is being introduced against a backdrop of both Wyndham, and Melbourne’s west in general, having among the highest rates of obesity in adults and children when compared to the rest of Victoria.
The official guidelines refer to the healthy eating indicators which see all food and drinks classified as either ‘Green’, ‘Amber’ or ‘Red’; with ‘Green’ foods indicating the healthiest classification and ‘Red’ foods the least.
To comply with the recommendations, WLS needed to demonstrate café menus which showed a ratio containing greater than 50% ‘Green’ and 20% or less ‘Red’ food and drinks. WLS are also the first managers of sport and recreation centres to have evaluated the economic impact of implementation of the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices Guidelines through a high-level research team.
Praising the initiative, Wyndham City Mayor Peter Maynard, explains “Wyndham City and Western Leisure Services had a shared vision to promote healthy living by encouraging healthy eating for our communities.
“By creating health-promoting environments we can ensure that healthy food choices are the easy choice and reduce prevalence of nutrition related disease.
“A Council dietitian worked closely with WLS to help assess menus, make recommendations to offer healthier food and drink options, source suitable products and local suppliers.
“We also engaged Deakin University to assess the economic benefits of offering healthier food and drink options. Offering healthier food and drink options helps drive generational change in our communities, and Wyndham City is proud to have been a part of this initiative.”
Responsible for implementing the menus, WLS Services Group Manager, Chetan Patel adds “it is so important for WLS to align our food service with the overall health messages, membership offers and programs that AquaPulse and Eagle Stadium offer.
“We are extremely proud of the work we have done to achieve compliance with the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices Guidelines.
“We are committed to communicating consistent messages about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles to the Wyndham community, while also reflecting community expectations in our café menu offerings.”
Images: Chetan Patel (top) and the Healthy Choices traffic light guidelines (below).
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