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Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

Today we published a rapid evidence review on the impact of in-premise marketing on consumer purchasing and consumption of food and drink.

In Scotland today two out of three adults, and one in four children, are overweight or obese. In order to ensure action to address this is informed by evidence, the Scottish Government commissioned us (in partnership with the University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh) to provide a review of the evidence on the impact of in-premise marketing of high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) food and drink.

The evidence suggests that overall, marketing of foods high in fat, sugar and salt encourages us to make unplanned purchases, and this is particularly influential for children and young people.

To address overweight and obesity, we need to make the healthy choice the easy choice. This includes looking at the ways that HFSS foods are marketed and promoted.

Laura Martin, Public Health Intelligence Principal at NHS Health Scotland, said:

“When we visit a supermarket or restaurant we have so many options, but it can be difficult to make a healthy choice when marketing heavily promotes foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt. Marketing is designed to encourage unplanned, impulsive purchases by making the product more visible or attractive. The evidence shows that it works, affecting how much we buy.

“Last year, we looked into social attitudes towards obesity, and the public agree action is needed. This latest evidence suggests that restrictions in marketing practices may be an effective way to support people to make healthier choices – by making simple changes to the environment they make those choices in.”

To find out more, visit the diet and healthy weight pages on our website.