Which? slams unhealthy food at tourist spots

05 July 2004
Which? slams unhealthy food at tourist spots

The food at some of Britain's top tourist attractions has taken a hammering from the Consumers' Association.

The association's latest Which? report has criticised attractions across the country for offering a limited range of healthy options.

Fast-food outlets were the mainstay of most theme parks, it concluded, and "healthier" options were often confined to kebabs and salads.

Fresh fruit and vegetables were hard to find, and when they were available were often unattractive or unappealing.

Which? sent a dietician and nutritionist to visit 20 theme parks between April and May, scoring its restaurants or food outlets on their availability of healthy alternatives.

A score of one meant no healthy choices at all were on offer and five meant there were three or more low-fat choices and at least two portions of fruit and vegetables.

The worst offenders were Camelot in Chorley, Lancashire, Flamingoland in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, and New Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

But the British Museum, Eden Project and Edinburgh Castle were all congratulated for their efforts to provide healthier alternatives.

The association urged park operators to provide a wider range of affordable and healthy options, including introducing a "traffic light" labelling scheme to highlight healthy eating choices.

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

"The industry needs to ensure that wherever you are it's just as easy to pick up a nutritious sandwich and some fruit as a hotdog and fries."

Digby Trout, founder and chairman of digby trout Restaurants, which runs the food operations at Edinburgh Castle and the British Museum, said the findings vindicated his company's commitment to using fresh ingredients.

by Nic Paton

How they rated:

Tourist attractionPoints scoredPercentage
Alton Towers44 out of possible 8055%
Blackpool Tower13 out of possible 3043%
Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park7 out of possible 1070%
British Museum18 out of possible 2090%
Camelot13 out of possible 45 29%
Chessington World of Adventures38 out of possible 7054%
Chester Zoo12 out of possible 3534%
Drayton Manor19 out of possible 5535%
Eden Project23 out of possible 3077%
Edinburgh Castle10 out of possible 10100%
Flamingoland16 out of possible 5529%
Legoland31 out of possible 5062%
London Zoo12 out of possible 2060%
Madame Tussauds7 out of possible 1545%
Natural History Museum17 out of possible 2568%
Oakwood Coaster Country11 out of possible 2544%
New Pleasurewood Hills13 out of possible 4033%
Tate Modern13 out of possible 1587%
Thorpe Park29 out of possible 5058%
Tower of London12 out of possible 1580%

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