Scots’ sweet tooth condemns a generation to cancer

Obesity cropped

​Obesity caused by our sugar addiction is causing cancer

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3rd March 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Scotland’s sweet tooth is putting the health of a generation at risk, according to a new report by Cancer Research UK.

Scots are far more likely than those south of the border to eat sweets and chocolates, with 39% of us admitting to consuming confectionary at least once a day compared to 30% in England.

Based on a YouGov survey, the research also found that Scots have a huge thirst for fizzy drinks with almost a fifth (18%) consuming a sugary drink every day.

The findings, for Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Scale Down Cancer campaign in Scotland, are concerning because being overweight is the single biggest cause of preventable cancer after smoking, and is linked to thirteen types of cancer including bowel, breast, and pancreatic cancer. 

And with around two-thirds (65%) of adults in Scotland and more than one quarter (28%) of children, overweight or obese, with sugar and fat-loaded food a major cause, Cancer Research UK is calling on the Scottish Government to take swift action.

Foods on promotion account for around 40% of all expenditure on food and drinks consumed at home.

Restricting supermarket multi-buy discounts on foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt are among a range of measures that CRUK wants to see placed at the heart of a strategy to improve Scots’ diets.

Cancer prevention expert Professor Linda Bauld, who is based at the University of Stirling, said: “Scotland’s sweet tooth is a huge worry for the health of the nation.

Professor Linda Bauld

Professor Linda Bauld

If left unchecked, obesity will lead to a rising tide in ill health

“Sugar should form no more than five per cent of our diet but, on average, both adults and children in Scotland consume much more than this.

“Too much sugar in our diet can lead to weight gain – which is not just linked to cancer, but also the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and tooth decay.

“From our love for tablet to soor plooms, toffee to macaroons, we’re a nation famous for our confectionary. 

“If left unchecked, obesity will lead to a rising tide in ill health, including cancers, and become a crippling burden on the NHS.

“We know that sugary drinks and snacks are more likely to be discounted than healthier foods and we know that people are being attracted by these promotions.

“The Scottish Government can and must do more to make it easier to shop healthily and serve up a better future for our young people. We need urgent action now to prevent thousands of cancers in the future.”