Obesity and Cancer Awareness Week: Advertising & Marketing

11 October 2017

  • Scotland is one of the most obese nations in the OECD
  • 110 tonnes of sugar is bought on special offer in Scotland every day
  • Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking
  • Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer

Facts and evidence highlight the issue, but we must start taking the actions required to halt the rise of obesity and then reduce it across Scotland.
This means tackling the obesogenic environment (the term obesogenic, according to the Collins English Dictionary, means “pertaining to or tending to cause obesity”).
Advertised food and drinks are generally less healthy than those recommended as part of a healthy balanced diet.

In 2014 the UK food industry spent £780m on the advertising and marketing of food and drink and £256m alone was spent on promoting ‘junk food’.


So far, voluntary measures to address marketing and advertising to improve dietary health in Scotland, suggested in the Supporting Healthy Choices framework, have proved to be insufficient.

We are calling on the Scottish Government in Obesity and Cancer Awareness Week to tackle junk food advertising to consumers across all channels, including online and social media platforms so we can start to create healthier environments for everyone in Scotland.

Statistics in this post have been taken from our briefing paper entitled ‘ADVERTISING, MARKETING and OBESITY’ which is available to download as a pdf.