One in three children are at risk of becoming overweight or obese
The appalling junk food diets of Scoltand's poorest children is leading to increased obesity and creating a national health crisis.
Children in Scotland has called for the introduction of a national policy on children’s food to help tackle the perfect storm of problems – adding that failing to do so could lead to a breech in the law.
Highlighting the most recent Scottish Health Survey, Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said 31% of children are at risk of becoming overweight or obese – and this percentage is higher in areas of greater deprivation.
The consequences of our national diet are appalling for the long-term health and wellbeing outcomes for our children
“As a result of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, every public body in Scotland is now required to fulfil its public duty to meet a child’s wellbeing needs,” Brock said.
“How will they be able to do this without addressing diet and enabling children to access healthier foods?
“Food and nutrition’s link to children’s wellbeing is a touchstone issue in Scotland in 2016.
“The consequences of our national diet are appalling for the long-term health and wellbeing outcomes for our children."
Brock says that any new food policy would only be effective if public, corporate and civic society recognise the true scale of the problem and the need for change.
New policy could build on existing initiatives that help address health inequalities in Scotland, such as the Free School Meals Programme for P1-3s.
Brock is expected to use the Food Matters: Debating a Children’s Food Policy for the 21st Century conference, held in Edinburgh on Tuesday, 8 March to give delegates the chance discuss the possible content of the policy and shape advice to the Scottish Food Commission and the Scottish Government.