Tap Water To Curb Obesity, Restaurants Told

Restaurants are accused of not doing enough to "turn the tide" on obesity and tooth decay by only offering tap water on request. This article is courtesy of Sky News at 03:48, UK, Saturday 23 April 2016

The LGA says families should not have to wait to be asked for tap water


Restaurants are being urged to "take responsibility" and offer tap water freely to families so they can have an alternative to a sugary drink.

Many eateries only offer tap water on request, despite a legal requirement that licensed premises provide it, a survey for the Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils, found.The poll found eight out of 10 people usually drink tap water at home, but only a third do so when eating out.It also found that 15% of those who usually drink tap water at home never think of asking for water in cafes or restaurants, while 13% said it made them feel awkward.

The LGA is calling on the Government to use its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy as an opportunity to encourage restaurateurs to offer parents and children the choice of tap water.

Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's community wellbeing spokeswoman, said:

"We want restaurant owners to play their part in tackling childhood obesity by offering families tap water."

While most restaurants will happily provide a glass of tap water on request, we're saying it shouldn't be something you have to ask for.

"Some people may be too embarrassed or find it awkward to ask for tap water. Others may simply forget it's an option."

Water brings important health benefits and keeps people hydrated.

"For children it's an alternative to a sugary drink, while for adults it might dissuade them from ordering another alcoholic drink."

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said:

"The BHA core objective is to promote responsible hospitality which includes offering healthy and trusted food and drink across our 40,000 members' establishments."

Free tap water is available wherever alcohol is sold, in line with licensing conditions.

"We acknowledge the wider public health concerns around childhood obesity and will review the impact of proactively offering tap water as a point of discussion with our members."

"Tackling obesity requires a multi-disciplinary approach including nutrition and physical activity."