Diabetes UK is encouraging people to try more healthy homemade meals as cooking is among the region's most popular lockdown pastimes.
New research commissioned by the charity shed light on people’s eating habits throughout the pandemic, as well as finding out what things they are doing to help their mental wellbeing.
More than a quarter - 28.98 percent - of those surveyed in the South West favoured cooking as a way of supporting their mental health. However, only 14.77 percent strongly agreed when asked if they knew how to cook their favourite takeaway at home.
Diabetes UK is hoping to change that. The charity wants people to discover healthy alternatives by taking part in FakeAway Feb, a new challenge which involves swapping takeaways, meal deals and other snacks for home-cooked meals throughout the month .
Phaedra Perry, Regional Head Diabetes UK South West, said: “For lots of people, giving up takeaways, meal deals and snacks will be a big challenge – particularly if they’re not experienced cooks or don’t have much time.
"But with 2021 under way and the UK in lockdown, FakeAway Feb is the perfect challenge for anyone who wants to start the year by making healthy changes to their diet, building on their cooking skills, and even saving some money.
“We know times have been tough. Diabetes UK understands the value of a ‘treat meal’ and how important supporting the restaurants we love are to the economy.
"That’s why there is complete flexibility in how you take on the challenge – the idea is to begin making healthier choices and raising vital funds for diabetes research along the way.”
Those taking part are sponsored by friends and family, raising vital funds for people living with diabetes along the way.
A 'fakeaway' can be anything from cooking homemade curry on a Friday night to getting creative with homemade lunches and snacks. Diabetes UK has lots of helpful free online recipes and meal plans so everyone can get involved.
People can join FakeAway Feb at any point during February. Registration is free and there is no minimum sponsorship. Challengers who raise £35 or more will receive a Diabetes UK wooden spoon.
When people sign up, they will receive access to an online community where members can share cooking tips and tricks, as well as download meal planners, find recipes ideas and share progress their own profile page.
Sign up to FakeAway Feb can be done at https://fakeaway.diabetes.org.uk/