Rotterdam teaming up with five fast-food chains to make food healthier
Rotterdam has teamed up with five fast-food chains in an attempt to make the food offered in the municipality healthier. The city asked the chains to make one of their dishes healthier and promote it. It is also working on a healthier offer in other restaurants and healthcare institutions, De Telegraaf reports.
“The strong lobby of Rotterdam with five fellow cities has led the government to investigate how municipalities can get more instruments to support healthy behavior. That is a process that requires a long breath,” responsible alderman Faouzi Achbar said in a letter to the city council. Rotterdam, therefore, decided to start taking its own steps while it waited for national legislation to catch up.
The city has made agreements with five community houses, seven care institutions, and eight catering establishments to offer healthier food. “On the Korte Lijnbaan, five fast food outlets under the guidance of Greendish take up the challenge to make a dish on the menu more sustainable and healthier and to put it in the spotlight. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Donutella, Halal Fried Chicken, and Waw Burger are participating,” Achbar said.
Rotterdam hopes a more visible healthy offer will encourage people to make healthier choices. “Contrary to what many believe, our behavior is largely influenced by our environment. The aim is to design the living environment on the street and in and around buildings in such a way that it stimulates and supports healthy choices,” Achbar said.
The initiative was largely well received by the city council, but not everyone was pleased. Leefbaar Rotterdam, for example, called it “patronizing” for Rotterdam residents. According to city councilor Caroline van Aalst, they “can really make their own choice about what to eat or not to eat.”