OAS Response to FSS Consultation to Improve the Out of Home environment in Scotland

22 November 2018

The out of home environment is having a significant impact on our waistlines. 

 

Earlier this year we published research showing that an average bag of chips now contains around half of the daily recommended calorie intake for a woman[1]. This is just one example of why change is needed.

 

We welcome the Food Standards Scotland’s consultation on proposals to improve out of home food environment in Scotland published today[2]. The proposals are an important step and part of a drive to tackle the overwhelming public health problem of overweight and obesity in Scotland.

 

We already know that the out of home food environment in Scotland is not supporting the nation’s good health, we need to improve it as soon as possible. The proposals, which include consideration of portion sizes, calorie information on the menus, improving quality of food sold out of home, and shifting marketing and promotion strategies from unhealthy products to healthier options, provide a starting point in this conversation.  We urge everyone involved to progress this consultation and move to implementation as quickly as possible.

 

Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead of Obesity Action Scotland said: ‘We urgently need to improve the out of home food environment in Scotland, as it is having a significant impact on our waistlines.  Earlier this year we found that an average bag of chips contained around half of the daily recommended calorie intake for a woman. Implementation of an Out Of Home Strategy for Scotland could empower and help people to make healthier choices every day.  Let’s deliver the changes necessary for health”

 

 

Background information[3]

  • The current out of home food environment in Scotland encourages us to overeat: large portions, little price differentials between portion sizes, marketing strategies focused on less healthy products, and lack of calorie information in most of the out of home outlets
  • Up to a quarter of our calories is consumed out of home in the UK
  • Out of home, children consume unhealthy food and drink more often than adults
  • Higher habitual consumption of meals out of home in the UK is associated with higher calorie consumption. This impact is amplified in children from less affluent households
  • The availability of fast food outlets is higher in more deprived areas
  • A majority of people in Scotland and the UK think that fast food is too easily available

 

Notes to editors:

The following representatives are available for telephone interview

  • Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead, Obesity Action Scotland
  • Dr Anna Gryka, Policy Officer, Obesity Action Scotland

Please contact Lorraine Tulloch on 07469 238922 or lorraine.tulloch@obesityactionscotland.org to arrange an interview.

  • Obesity Action Scotland is on Twitter at: @obesityactionsc
  • Visit Obesity Action Scotland’s website at www.obesityactionscotland.org

 

[1] www.obesityactionscotland/factsheets

[2] https://consult.foodstandards.gov.scot/nutrition-science-and-policy/proposals-to-improve-the-out-of-home-environment-i

[3] Based on our recent briefing on the out of home food environment in Scotland and its impact on obesity www.obesityactionscotland/briefing