Heather Peace, Head of Nutrition Science & Policy at Food Standards Scotland, said “It is particularly concerning to see the widening gaps between the richest and the poorest in our society in terms of obesity, and that overall levels of overweight – including obesity – have increased from 40% in men and 31% in women in 1995, to 66% in men and 60% in women, in 2015.
“This report adds to the mounting body of evidence showing that little progress has been made towards improving the Scottish diet for the last 20 years. There is an urgent need for us all to take action – government, industry, the media and individuals all have a part to play.
“Healthier options should be more available and accessible to everyone in our society. We have recommended a package of actions to tackle obesity in Scotland, which includes the regulation of promotions on unhealthy food and drinks, reformulation of food and drink to reduce the amount of calories, fats and sugars in the food we buy, as well as calorie information for consumers when they’re eating outside of the home. Research conducted by Food Standards Scotland has shown that three quarters of people in Scotland would support further regulation of ingredients as one way of helping improve the Scottish diet.
“Obesity places a heavy burden on many people across Scotland, particularly those in the more deprived areas. With the cost of obesity to the Scottish economy estimated at £2.37bn per year, it is also clear that diet-related ill health is having a significant economic impact. In our view, regulation could play a significant part in creating a healthier environment, and without it, we face the very real prospect of increasing diet-related ill health and unsustainable burdens on the NHS and our economy.”
Read the full report on the NHS Health Scotland website.