Theme park's food labelled

By Jenni DixonA POPULAR theme park has been described by a consumer watchdog as “depressing” for its provision of healthy food for visitors. A report by the Consumers' Association names Pleasurewood Hills American Theme Park, near Lowestoft, as the third worst attraction in the country for its choice of healthy meals and snacks.

By Jenni Dixon

A POPULAR theme park has been described by a consumer watchdog as “depressing” for its provision of healthy food for visitors.

A report by the Consumers' Association names Pleasurewood Hills American Theme Park, near Lowestoft, as the third worst attraction in the country for its choice of healthy meals and snacks.

The watchdog's report, which is published today, said fast food outlets were the order of the day at theme parks, generally dishing up high-fat foods.


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Healthier food options were limited to kebabs and salads, with fruit and vegetables hard to find or unattractive and unappealing.

Researchers described the Suffolk tourist attraction as “arguably one of the most depressing of all the theme parks in terms of the choice of food on offer”.

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But the theme park's managing director, Peter Hadden, defended its catering provision as proof of how well the attraction was doing.

“In terms of healthy eating options, this report is exactly what we would have expected,” he said.

“At a theme park, eating is in competition with riding the attractions and our visitors need to go for quick options. The more successful the park, the nearer it is to the bottom of the healthy option scale.

“It is also consumer-led. We've been through trials and tests and we have ended up where we are. Our food is what consumers ask of us.”

A registered dietician and nutritionist visited 20 top tourist attractions over the past two months, including museums, zoos, castles and art galleries, for the Consumers' Association report.

Each food outlet at each attraction was awarded a score out of five depending on how many low-fat and fruit and vegetable choices were available.

Pleasurewood Hills scored 33% - only 4% more than the worst two attractions, the Camelot Theme Park in Chorley, Lancashire, and Flamingo Land in Kirby Misperton, north Yorkshire.

Nick Stace, director of campaigns at Which? magazine, said: “Today's research is yet another example of how hard it is to make the healthier choice.

“Industry needs to ensure that wherever you are, it's just as easy to pick up a nutritious sandwich and some fruit as hotdog and fries.”

The report made a number of recommendations to tourist attractions and caterers to break down the barriers to healthy eating.

These included offering a wider range of affordable and healthy options and using a traffic light labelling scheme to flag up how much salt, sugar and fat the food they sold contained.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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