About a third of the adult population in Scotland are obese, about another third are overweight, and the evidence shows that obesity levels are higher in poorer communities. It is important to address this if we are to create a healthier and fairer Scotland. NHS Health Scotland welcomes the two new reports out today, from Food Standard Scotland. Adding to the body of evidence on Scotland’s problem with obesity, these reports will help the public health community – and others – further understand what can be done about it.
We particularly welcome the fact that the reports show that action in one area or targeting one type of food or drink, doesn’t necessarily do enough to address the problem, and that wider action across all food and drinks high in sugar, salt or fats is necessary. We also welcome acknowledgement of the contribution that alcohol makes to weight.
Claire Hislop, Organisational Lead for Diet and Obesity Prevention at NHS Health Scotland said:
“We need to address overweight and obesity in Scotland if we are to become a healthier, fairer nation. Evidence suggests that more price promotions that make healthy food cheaper, coupled with fewer price promotions for unhealthy food is an effective way to do this. This report shows we’re not there yet. Price promotions are still skewed towards less healthy products. This is particularly disappointing because of the persistent health inequalities in relation to food and drink, that this report confirms still exist. It is important to take action to make the healthier option the easy option.
“We know from our recent survey of social attitudes on obesity that the public support such bold action to address this. The upcoming Scottish Government Obesity Strategy presents an opportunity to take the joined up, cross-policy and multi sectoral approach needed”.