COUNCILLORS plan to spend £100,000 on a service that will teach people how to budget for, cook and eat a healthy diet.
Representatives for north area council, which covers the Darton, Old Town and St Helen's wards, wants to commission a service to help people facing financial hardship live healthier lives.
Chairman of the area council, Linda Burgess, said this will include practical 'cook and eat' courses in the community offering basic cooking skills, healthy eating and teaching those on a low income how to budget.
Council papers state: "The most common risk factor in the North Area Council is smoking, which accounts for 20 per cent of deaths. This is followed by high blood pressure at 16 per cent, high cholesterol at 11 per cent and obesity at ten per cent.
"It is believed these risk factors, excluding smoking, can be reduced by improving people's diet and encouraging a more active lifestyle."
The service will cover things such as healthy eating on a budget; nutrition and the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables; food preparation skills; shopping on a budget and food labelling and dental health.
The second part to the service will be nutritional health and social engagement to address things such as encouraging different generations in families to cook together to pass on skills, quick and easy meals and how to feed a family for £5.
It has suggested the provider of the service could set up 'casserole clubs' where people prepare an extra portion of a meal for a neighbour.