News & Updates

Evidence Scots need to eat less sugar (SACN)

People in Scotland consume much more sugar than is healthy and not nearly enough fibre. Today, a new expert report recommends that we all need to reduce further the amount of sugar we eat and increase the amount of fibre.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has considered this report and the FSS Board has advised Scottish Ministers that the recommendations be accepted. With our partners, we will look at how to take these recommendations forward, helping consumers in Scotland to choose and eat a healthier diet. You can read more about our Board’s discussion here.


What does this mean for your food and drink choices?

You should continue to:

  • Reduce your sugar intake by replacing sugary drinks with water, low-fat milk or other no-sugar drinks. Sugary drinks are a major source of sugar.
  • Eat less confectionery, biscuits, cakes, pastries and puddings. Have these foods in small amounts and less often.
  • Base your diet on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, other grains and fruit & vegetables which will increase your fibre intake.
  • You can improve your diet by eating more of those starchy foods, to replace high sugar foods and drinks. Wholegrain varieties of these foods are a good choice, as they are higher in fibre.
  • Look at food labels to help you make healthier choices – the colour coded nutrition labels will enable you to identify the levels of sugar, fat and salt in foods.

We will continue to work on our messages for consumers in Scotland, particularly to strengthen the messages around cutting sugar and increasing fibre. For more advice, see our healthy eating pages.


Where does this advice come from?

We base our dietary advice on scientific evidence from expert groups, such as the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. This group recently looked at how much sugar and fibre you should have in your diet and what affect this has on your health.


On sugars, the Committee said that:

  • Having a lot of sugar and sugar-containing foods and drinks means you will be more likely to have tooth decay
  • Higher consumption of sugary drinks can increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, an illness which can cause serious health problems
  • Having a lot of sugar means you consume more energy. This can make you more likely to gain extra weight.


On fibre, the Committee said that:

Eating more dietary fibre, especially from wholegrains, can lessen your risk of heart disease and some cancers.


Get more information on:

More on this topic

Minutes from Intersessional Meeting 7 July 2015

Minutes of the meeting called to discuss recommendations contained in the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) Carbohydrate and Health Report.