Health group welcomes obesity crackdown

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Nourish Scotland has said more needs to be done to ensure people can access healthy foods

30th October 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Plans to crackdown on obesity in Scotland have been welcomed by a health group.

Last week, the Scottish Government announced a series of initiatives to tackle childhood obesity – including restricting junk food sales, funding for supported weight management interventions and a ban on advertising of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar before 9pm.

A consultation on the plans is now open and Nourish Scotland has said that more needs to be done to ensure people have access to healthy foods.

Executive director Pete Ritchie said: “We know that just regulating food high in fat, sugar and salt won’t necessarily mean people are able to eat more of the healthy food.

“Earlier this week the public health minister was at our vegetable summit, one of the panellists there shared a story about how difficult it can be to find vegetables in some of our most deprived communities.

“People don’t have the time or money to spend on bus fare to travel and find healthy food – this needs to be planned in to our communities.

 “The £42 million for weight management interventions announced in the Programme for Government needs to support people living with diet related illness to be able to access the food they need to live well.”

Ritchie added that links need to be made with Scottish food producers and that all involved need to work together to help implement the plans.

A review, published this by NHS Health Scotland, showed that consumers buy more high fat, salt and sugar foods on promotion than healthier items.

NHS Health Scotland found that obesity is one of the main contributors to physical and mental illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and thirteen cancers. 

In 2016, two thirds (65%) of adults were overweight including 29% who are obese and just over one in four (29%) children were at risk of being overweight, including 14% at risk of obesity. 

The review found that consumer spending on price promotions in the UK is the highest in Europe. Temporary price reductions are the most prevalent form of promotion in Scotland.

Dr Andrew Fraser, director of public health science, said: “We have a major problem on our hands, with poor diet and overweight across Scotland.

“This has serious health and social consequences, particularly for people who face the greatest problems in ensuring a healthier future anyway; we have to consider actions and ambitions that are in proportion to the scale of the problem.”

31st October 2017 by nitya

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