An award scheme encouraging takeaways to serve up healthier food has begun and organisers hope it could save hundreds of lives a year.

One in six meals eaten across the district is bought from a takeaway or other eatery, and health chiefs have become increasingly concerned about rising levels of obesity in the city.

It is estimated up to 300 people die needlessly from heart disease every year in Bradford alone because of poor diet.

Last month a new Good Food Award scheme was set up by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and Bradford Council.

It has now started and is targeting areas which are particularly dense in food outlets, especially around schools, academies and colleges.

Julia Burrows, consultant in public health at Bradford Council, said: “We can estimate that as many as 300 deaths from cardiovascular disease might be avoided in Bradford every year if people made substantial improvements to their diet, such as eliminating industrial transfats, reducing saturated fats and salt as well as eating a lot more fruit and vegetables.

“The Good Food Award is an excellent example of how we can help move towards this by making healthier food choices easier and more available.

“Obesity is an important factor in many serious illnesses, including type two diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.”

Takeaways which have a food hygiene rating of three out of five or better are being invited to apply for the free award.

Trading Standards experts will visit each participating business to give them free training to improve the standards of their catering practices.

The takeaways will be encouraged to increase the number of healthier menu options available and will be shown how they can make small changes to their recipes to make their food healthier to eat.

They will then be given a rating of Gold, Silver or Bronze and the results will be published online at

Councillor Val Slater, chairman of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards committee, said: “Tackling obesity and improving heart health is everybody’s business. People do have a personal responsibility to reduce the number of calories they consume, but equally food businesses can help with this by providing healthier options on their menus, at no additional cost and provide their customers with better choices.”