Put Child Health Before Party Politics

Food RevolutionWhen it comes to preventative health policies, Scotland has pedigree.
Scotland pioneered trail-blazing tobacco and alcohol controls, and now – because Westminster didn’t last year – Scotland must lead the way to protect our kids from junk food.

The need for brave and bold action to tackle childhood obesity has never been clearer.
One in four children and two in three adults are now overweight or obese.
This costs the Scottish economy £4.6bn each year. Obesity is responsible for 10.8% of the NHS caseload, and cuts short lives by an average of three years.

The facts are staggering, and every year the gap in obesity between the most and the least disadvantaged children continues to grow. But it doesn’t need to be like this.
Today, we call on all 129 MSPs to put child health before party politics and make sure the forthcoming 2017 Diet and Obesity strategy is as ambitious as it needs to be.

Scotland can be the first to have a cohesive strategy that (at a minimum) covers junk food marketing, food education, physical activity and school food.

Jamie Oliver’s six-point plan identifies the areas where politicians can make an enormous difference. Here are the devolved policies Scotland can lead on:

education

FOOD EDUCATION
It Is every child's right to be taught about food, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies. This fundamental knowledge opens up a world of cultural and economic opportunities, but without it our children grow up without the skills or desire to eat better. This is why we are calling on Nicola Sturgeon to devote significant funding to food education. It would be fitting for Scotland to ringfence much of its share of the 2018 Soft Drink Industry Levy for this purpose, which could be as much as £44m a year.

  

fair marketing


FAIR MARKETING
Obesity is not inevitable, it is a crisis by design. Just as in the case of tobacco 15 years ago, billions of pounds are spent every year persuading us to consume products that’ll harm us. 70% of Scottish adults support a ban on junk food price promotions. This is why we are calling on the Scottish Government to follow Ireland’s lead and regulate, so that retailers can restrict the multi-buy discounting of junk food, remove sweets from till points and promote healthier options.

   

school food

 

SCHOOL FOOD
Many kids eat two of their daily meals at school – breakfast and lunch – 180 days of the year. The 366,000 meals served in Scottish schools every day have to be healthy. It matters! That’s why John Swinney's current review must honour the SNP’s manifesto commitment and ensure every child can get their 5-a-day of fruit and veg at school.

 

  

physicalactivity

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Removing the barriers to physical activity is important to get our children moving more and feeling better. Beautifully simple ideas like The Daily Mile, a free initiative where primary- and nursery-aged children run, jog or walk outside in the fresh air each day at school, are needed to improve children’s fitness, concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing. Initiatives that promote walking or cycling over driving are vital too.

 

sugary drinks tax

  

REDUCE SUGARY DRINKS
Energy drinks are directly linked to obesity and type-2 diabetes. Every single can admits it is "not recommended for children", so why is their sale unrestricted? Scotland has the power to build on the promise of policies such as the Soft Drink Industry Levy, and impose limits on children buying energy drinks, similar to alcohol age restrictions.

 

 

This is a chance for Scotland to set an incredible example to the rest of the world. As Holyrood builds Scotland’s obesity strategy, to deal with the worst weight statistics in Britain, we would like to offer our help.

Signatories:

Food:
Jamie Oliver MBE (chef and campaigner), Chef Neil Forbes (Cafe St Honoré), Chef Andrew Fairlie (Restaurant Andrew Fairlie), Chef Tom Kitchin (The Kitchin), Josh Littlejohn (Social Bite), Angela Mitchell (Soil Association Scotland), Pete Ritchie (Nourish Scotland), Tony Singh (chef and campaigner), Chef Martin Wishart (Restaurant Martin Wishart), David Wither (Montpelier Group), Dean Gassabi (Maison Bleue Group), Oli Norman (itison.com)

Physical Activity:
Judy Murray (Tennis Coach), Elaine Wyllie (The Daily Mile foundation)

Health:
Prof. Linda Bauld (Cancer Research UK's Prevention champion), Prof. Derek Bell (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh), Dr John Colvin, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Prof. David Galloway (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow), Lorraine Tulloch (Obesity Action Scotland), Dr Steve Turner (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), Dr John Colvin (Royal College of Anaesthetists)

3rd June 2017

Campaign Supporters

Hashtag Eating Not Feeding

Ben Lawrie

Ben Lawrie

Ben Lawrie

Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate: Angus - Monifieth and Sidlaw

Phillip Bell

Phillip Bell

Phillip Bell

Scottish Conservative Candidate: Aberdeenshire - Lower Deeside

Hugh Wilson

Hugh Wilson

Hugh Wilson

SNP Candidate: North Ayrshire - Irvine East

Craig Duncan

Craig Duncan

Craig Duncan

Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate: Broughty Ferry

Claire Miller

Claire Miller

Claire Miller

Green Party Candidate: Edinburgh City Centre

Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell

Scottish Greens Candidate: Portobello and Craigmillar

Ross Collins

Ross Collins

Ross Collins

Scottish Greens Candidate: Irvine East

Susan Murray

Susan Murray

Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate: East Dunbartonshire Ward 7

Laura Moodie

Laura Moodie

Scottish Green Party Candidate: Dee and Glenkens

Rachel Shanks

Rachel Shanks

Scottish Green Party Candidate: Aberdeenshire - Stonehaven and Lower Deeside

Christopher Birt

Christopher Birt

Scottish Labour Party Candidate: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh

John Morgan

John Morgan

Scottish Labour Party Candidate: Ellon and District

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod

SNP Candidate: Inverclyde

Sandy Taylor

Sandy Taylor

Independent Candidate: East Dunbartonshire – Lenzie and Kirkintilloch

Evelyn Weston

Evelyn Weston

Scottish Green Party Candidate: Edinburgh – Pentlands

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson

Scottish Green Party Candidate: Renfrewshire - Lochwinnoch, Howood, Kilbarchan and Johnstone North

Brian Finlay

Brian Finlay

Scottish Green Party Candidate: South Lanarkshire – Rutherglen South

Mandy Meikle

Mandy Meikle

Scottish Green Party Candidate: Clydesdale West, South Lanarkshire

Hugh Hunter

Hugh Hunter

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Candidate: Ward 2 - Prestwick

Charlie Nicolson

Charlie Nicolson

Independent Candidate: Stornoway South Ward 6

Robert Drysdale

Robert Drysdale

Scottish Conservative Candidate: Tay Bridgehead Ward 17

Carol Ford

Carol Ford

Scottish Lib Dems: Glasgow Kelvin and the Glasgow Regional List

Anne Wimberley

Anne Wimberley

Labour Candidate: Edinburgh Ward 9

Bill Duff

Bill Duff

SNP Candidate: Montrose and District

Gordon Munro

Gordon Munro

Scottish Labour Candidate: Edinburgh North and Leith

Steve Burgess

Steve Burgess

Scottish Greens Candidate: Southside/Newington

Iain McKinnon-Waddell

Iain McKinnon-Waddell

Scottish Greens Candidate: Almond Ward Edinburgh

Yvonne McLellan

Yvonne McLellan

Scottish Greens Candidate: Kilwinning

Bill Mason

Bill Mason

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Candidate: Clackmannanshire East

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith

SNP Candidate: Peterhead South and Cruden

Transforming School Meals

Serving School Meals

From a Feeding Culture to an Eating Culture

Today, Obesity Action Scotland is calling on local government election candidates to commit to transform school meals in Scotland from a feeding culture to an eating culture.

We are asking national and local governments to place greater value on school meals and create an eating culture by following our four recommendations for action:

School Meals 4 Actions

Two thirds of primary school pupils in Scotland eat school meals. School meals provide a unique opportunity to drive the dietary change we need to see in Scotland and act as an exemplar for healthy eating.

Obesity affects one in every four adults and almost one in five children in Scotland. People who are normal weight are now in the minority and poor diet is a key driver of this.

Our report, launched today, found that the school dining experience varies dramatically across Scotland and we are seeking change to ensure no school or child is left behind. All too often children are offered puddings high in sugar and menus regularly offer processed foods. We found that Scottish primary schools serve puddings more often that soup and these puddings have an average of 14g of sugar.

“We are calling on local government election candidates to commit to transform school meals across Scotland to ensure children have a healthy and happy experience with food” said Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead of Obesity Action Scotland, “Change is possible and we have highlighted areas where that change is starting to happen, but more action is needed and greater priority and attention needs to be given to this subject to ensure we offer all our children the best start in life.”

Scottish Children’s Diet

SchoolMealsStar

The diet of Scottish children is generally poor, failing to meet dietary goals. School meals provide the opportunity to turn this poor diet around and have a positive influence on the health of children growing up in Scotland. In 2015 school age children ate only 2.7 portions of fruit and vegetables per day compared to the five portions recommended and only 14% of school aged children ate oily fish once a week.

Free sugar intake is highest in children aged 4 to 18 compared to all other age groups. This means school age children are consuming three times the recommended level of free sugars.

The main sources of free sugar for children are cakes, biscuits, cereals, soft drinks, fruit juice, sugar, preserves, confectionery, yogurt, fromage frais and other dairy desserts. Our research indicates that items such as cakes, cookies, sweetened yogurts and other desserts in school meals could be significantly contributing to this excess intake of free sugars in children.

Obesity in Scotland and the Need for Action

Living in obesogenic environments where relative inactivity and overconsumption of energy dense foods is too available, affordable and accepted is fuelling the current obesity crisis. Although personal choices are important, obesogenic environments create dangerously high levels of obesity in the population and have a powerful effect on a child’s diet, physical activity levels and obesity.
Last year, 10% of Primary 1 children in Scotland were at risk of obesity. Consequences of childhood obesity are striking. They include stigma and discrimination, mental health problems, musculoskeletal complications, heart disease, stroke and common cancers later in life. All result in worse quality of life.

Preventing obesity in childhood is far preferable to attempting obesity treatment later on, because returning to normal body weight and maintaining this weight loss is more difficult for people who already have obesity.

Find out more about obesity, its causes and effects on this website.

Download the full School Meals Report

Follow us on Twitter: @obesityactionsc

April 20th 2017

#ScotlandvsObesity

SCOTLAND CAN'T STOMACH IT ANY LONGER
#ScotlandvsObesity

Obesity Action Scotland is calling on the next Scottish Government to support 5 measures to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

OAS Election Pledge Card

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