Fatter chips keep you thinner

THE French fry may have had its chips in Cambridgeshire. Chip shops across Cambridgeshire could soon be advised to reconsider the thickness of their fries – fatter is better - and the size of their portions as part of a project to fight obesity. The Food

THE French fry may have had its chips in Cambridgeshire.

Chip shops across Cambridgeshire could soon be advised to reconsider the thickness of their fries - fatter is better - and the size of their portions as part of a project to fight obesity.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is conducting a study among 80 fish and chip shops in Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland.

The pilot is still in the planning stages and is set to be launched in Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire and Fenland in the next few weeks.

It will be a joint initiative between district councils and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards.

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire District Council said it will aim to promote good frying practices in fish and chip shops.

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The FSA said it will help chip shops make their meals healthier by changing the thickness of their chips, the temperature of their cooking oil and the size of their portions.

According to the FSA the thicker the chips the healthier they are because they absorb less fat.

If successful, the initiative will be rolled out across the country.

As part of the project, local authorities will visit chip shops to examine how much fat is in a portion of chips.

A spokesman for the FSA said: "The aim of the pilot project is to produce some targeted advice for businesses, which is simple, practical and easy to implement. For fish and chip shops this includes advice as simple as choosing the type of oil to cook in or the temperature of the oil - both of which can make a big difference to the nutritional value chips.

"We'd also encourage businesses to offer customers a range of portion sizes, allowing people to choose smaller ones when they wish to. Small steps like these will go a long way in helping people choose healthier diets, which is good news for everyone."

An average portion of takeaway fish and chips is said to contain 595 calories and 9.42grams of fat.

But the classic British dish is not the unhealthiest takeaway with a pizza containing 871 calories and 11gs of fat and a chicken korma containing 910 calories and 15.5gs of fat.

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