About 300 food outlets have joined a month-long pilot project to promote healthy eating habits at restaurants. The scheme, which will start on July 30, is a prelude to a city-wide programme dubbed the 'EatSmart @restaurant.hk' campaign. Participating restaurants will follow the Department of Health's guidelines to prepare two types of dishes - those in which fruit and vegetables are the sole ingredients, and the 'three less dishes', containing less oil, salt and sugar. Associate Director of Health Regina Ching Cheuk-tuen said it was hoped that the pilot project could help to fine-tune the campaign, which would be launched later this year. A Department of Health study in 2005 found that more than half of Hongkongers eat out at lunchtime at least five times a week, while 32 per cent do so for breakfast and 11 per cent for dinner. In another survey, held this year, more than 90 per cent of respondents said they preferred healthier menus and 60 per cent said restaurant food contained too much oil and fat. More than half preferred more vegetables in the dishes, the department found. 'Since more people prefer to dine out with healthier options, we decided to launch a healthy diet programme aimed at local eating places,' Dr Ching said. Michael Leung, chairman of the Lucky Dragon Boat restaurant group, said five of his outlets would start preparing such dishes next Monday, a week before the pilot drive begins. He also expected the healthier options to bring a 10 per cent increase in profit. 'This is a win-win situation, as more people nowadays choose to have healthy dishes and the cost is even less,' he said. To support the campaign, the Kwun Tong Healthy City Steering Committee has organised a district-based project called 'Healthy Eating in Kwun Tong'. It has invited 13 food outlets to join its scheme. Committee chairman Tse Chun-yan said he hoped the project could build healthy eating practices among city dwellers. 'We will target more than 100 restaurants to take part in the programme,' he said.