Good Fork Week helps Kiwi diners fight the obesity epidemic

Wednesday 27 February 2013, 12:55PM
By PPR New Zealand

Kiwi diners are being called to fight the obesity epidemic by supporting restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes participating in Good Fork Week from 4 – 10 March 2013.

The inaugural Good Fork Week will see chefs across restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes and canteens around the country make a small change to a menu item and make it more nutritious. Through this commitment, they aim to show Kiwi diners they can eat better out of home while also kick starting a change in the food service industry.

Good Fork Week, which was recently launched by Unilever Food Solutions in partnership with the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, helps both chefs and diners alike in tackling the country’s growing obesity epidemic.

“The idea behind Good Fork Week stemmed from the findings of Unilever Food Solutions’ third World Menu Report which highlights that foodservice venues around the world are not meeting their diners’ needs when it comes to providing nutritious options on their menu,” explains Yezdi Daruwalla, Managing Director of Unilever Food Solutions.

Sarah Hanrahan from the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation is excited to be on board this initiative, and believes that Good Fork Week is a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling New Zealand’s obesity epidemic.

“The statistics are staggering with about one million New Zealand adults either overweight or obese[1], and one in ten Kiwi kids between the ages of 2–14 years obese2. An initiative such as Good Fork Week will give Kiwi chefs the chance to both educate and influence their diners, while also showing they have their customers’ health at heart,” says Ms Hanrahan.

Good Fork Week Ambassador and well-known Kiwi chef, Michael Van de Elzen, reinforces his desire to fight the growing obesity epidemic and calls on the nation to also do their part.

“I believe when people eat out they shouldn’t have to substitute a fantastic meal which is full of flavour because eating healthily is a priority. As chefs we pride ourselves on our culinary skills and creativity when producing the perfect dish, I really feel it’s important that healthy food forms an essential part of our restaurant offering. Are you up for the challenge?” Mr Van de Elzen said.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation is also endorsing the initiative; “the Heart Foundation supports Good Fork Week as a great initiative that encourages chefs and caterers to create good food choices. Eating out continues to be a popular trend amongst New Zealanders and healthier menu changes provide consumers with greater choice and benefit the population’s health. Good Fork Week also complements World SALT Awareness Week (11- 17th March), which the Heart Foundation is promoting. This year the focus for SALT Week is to encourage chefs/caterers to use less salt while still enjoying the great flavour of their food,” said Dave Monro, Food Industry Setting Manager, Heart Foundation

For more information on Good Fork Week, or to find your local participating Good Fork Week restaurant, please visit

Good Fork Week Outlets

Current participating outlets are as follows:

  • The Langham
  • Degree Gastrobar (Auckland)
  • Coffee Club (Nationwide) – 41 sites
  • The Vic Brew Bar (Nelson)
  • Heritage Hotels
  • Empire Tavern (Auckland)
  • Auckland District Health Board
  • Ambeli (Wellington)
  • Trust House Ltd (Masterton)
  • Villager (Auckland)
  • The Abbey Bar and Kitchen (Auckland
  • Kings Gate Hamilton
  • Cafe Plums (Geraldine)
  • PMP
  • Auckland District Court
  • TVNZ
  • Progressive Wiri
  • Waikato Times
  • OI Glass
  • University of Auckland Halls O’Rourke and International House
  • St Cuthbert’s (Auckland)


[1] The Health of New Zealand Adults 2011/12: Key findings of the New Zealand Health Survey

2 The Health of New Zealand Children 2011/12: Key findings of the New Zealand Health Survey