We are facing an obesity crisis in Scotland. Two in every three adults are overweight or obese. People of a healthy weight are now in the minority.
The current obesity crisis is clearly linked to our overconsumption of energy dense foods and drinks. We are bombarded with special offers and slick advertising on unhealthy foods and this significantly influences our choices.
We are calling for bold and ambitious action from the Scottish Government to tackle this issue and today they launched their consultation document:
Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead at Obesity Action Scotland said:
“We are delighted to welcome and support this document. It puts transforming our food environment at the heart of the drive to improve our nation’s diet. The Government has outlined the bold action they propose to take including legislative action on price promotions, tackling advertising, improving the choices we have when we eat out and improving food and drink labelling. All of these changes will help make it easier for everyone to make the healthy choice when filling their shopping baskets or eating out.”
- Obesity is a serious public health threat in Scotland
- Overweight and obesity rates have remained stubbornly high in Scotland since 2008
- Two in every three adults in Scotland (65%) are overweight; people of normal weight are now in the minority
- Over one-quarter of children are overweight or obeseii
- Obese children are five times more likely to become obese adultsiii
- Scotland has the highest prevalence of obesity in pregnant women when compared to 11 other European countries (where BMI data available)
- Obesity rates in Scotland are amongst the highest in the world
- There is a significant inequalities dimension to obesity particularly for women and children
- None of the Scottish Dietary Goals on saturated fat, sugar consumption or fruit and vegetable intake has been met in the last 15 years.
- Obesity increases the risk of many diseases including Type 2 diabetes, 13 types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease
- Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of 3 years and severe obesity (BMI >40) by 8-10 years
- Obesity reduces productivity and physical activity; it increases sickness absence and demand for health and social care services
- Excess weight costs NHS Scotland up to an estimated £600 million a year, with wider societal and economic costs of up to £4.6 billion.
What actions are required?
We are calling for bold and ambitious fiscal and regulatory measures to change our food environment. Our calls include:
- Regulation to tackle price promotions on unhealthy foods
- Restricting advertising and sponsorship associated with unhealthy food
- Action to tackle portion size in the places where we eat out
We want to see a Scotland where we meet health based dietary goals, where healthy food choices are valued and celebrated and where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Please contact Lorraine Tulloch, Obesity Action Scotland on 07469 238922 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information Obesity Action Scotland is on Twitter at: @obesityactionsc
The consultation closes on 31st January 2018.
Details on how to respond can be found in the consultation document itself.
Visit the government consultation hub to find out more
i Obesity Action Scotland (2016). Briefing: Obesity in Scotland. http://www.obesityactionscotland.org/our-publications/briefings
ii Scottish Government. (2017). ‘The Scottish Health Survey 2016: Volume 1: Main Report’. (website)
iii Simmonds, M., et al. (2016). ‘Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis’. Obesity reviews: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity’. 17(2): 95-107. (website)