We are delighted that the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government includes a commitment to limit the marketing of foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS). We hope that this commitment will lead to real change in the way that HFSS products are promoted and marketed. Strong action could see Scotland leading the way within the UK in tackling obesity and changing our food environment.
Scotland has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe where 29% of adults have obesity. Today the First Minister acknowledged that they must introduce bold initiatives to tackle obesity as has been done for smoking and alcohol in the past. We welcome this solid indication that they intend to take a new, bold approach to reduce obesity in Scotland.
Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead for Obesity Action Scotland said,
“Every day our decisions about what to eat are influenced by price promotions and marketing strategies employed by the industry. This has led us to have a particularly unhealthy diet in Scotland and we are suffering many health consequences including overweight and obesity. These proposals must ensure that we can create a healthier food environment in Scotland by tackling price promotions and the ubiquitous advertising of unhealthy food. We look forward to seeing more of the detail in the Scottish Government’s diet and obesity strategy and Good Food Nation Bill.”
Obesity Action Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that the diet and obesity strategy includes actions for the retail and out of home sector that:
- Restrict price promotions of unhealthy foods
- Restrict advertising and sponsorship associated with unhealthy food
- Regulate portion sizes
- Support the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to be implemented and monitored
- Support the UK reformulation programme
These are the measures that are most likely to reduce the level of obesity in our country if implemented together.
Obesity is a limiting condition that disables a large proportion of our population and raises the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and a range of other serious conditions.