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NEWS RELEASE · 11th June 2010
M. of Healthy Living & Sport
An easy-to-follow online resource to promote healthy food and beverage choices at sporting events is now available, announced Healthy Living and Sport Minister Ida Chong.

The new Guidelines for Food and Beverages Available at Sporting Events in B.C. was launched today by Minister Chong at Saanich Commonwealth Place in Victoria.

"While preparing meals and snacks for hundreds of hungry athletes and spectators can be a challenge for food-service providers at sporting events, it's important that healthy food choices are part of the menu," said Chong. "These new guidelines for sporting events are yet another way we're helping make the healthy choice the easy choice in B.C."

Podium-themed categories are designed to help food service providers provide healthy snacks and meals, which include fruit and vegetable snacks, whole grains and prepared foods that are low in fat, sugar and sodium, as well as healthy beverage choices.

Food service providers are encouraged to use the following guidelines:

* First Place Finish - At least 40 per cent of foods and beverages on the menu should come from this category. These are the healthiest foods and include lean meats, whole-grain cereals and lower-sodium stews, chillies and curries, along with water, milk and soy beverages.
* On The Podium Foods and Fluids - Up to 40 per cent of foods on the menu can come from this category, which include yogurts, 100-per cent juices, lean chicken and tuna salads.
* Off The Podium - A maximum of 20 per cent of foods and beverages from this category can be made available. Foods include chips, candy, french fries and most cookies, along with soft drinks.

"B.C.'s new sport-venue food guidelines support our ActNow BC efforts to encourage more British Columbians to choose healthier foods, whether they're at home or at a sporting event," said Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC.

The guidelines were developed by SportMedBC, in partnership with the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport and other key sport organizations in British Columbia. The guidelines also support the provincial restriction of industrially produced trans fat in prepared foods.

"The guidelines will help food-service providers to consider food quantity, meal timing and the competition environment in order to ensure that athletes and spectators are fuelled for success," said Lynda Cannell, president and CEO of SportMedBC.

The BC Games Society was one of the advisory committee members and is already implementing these guidelines at BC Summer and Winter Games.

"The BC Summer and Winter Games have long ensured we provide nutritious meals to our athletes," said Kelly Mann, BC Games Society president and CEO. "This online resource is one more tool we can use to ensure athletes achieve their personal best."

These voluntary guidelines are designed for food-concession operators located within venues that are hosting sporting events as well as food service organizations that provide catering for day-long or multi-day sporting events.