News & Updates

Food Standards Scotland publishes report on dietary intakes in Scotland

Today we have published a report on diet in Scotland, which used an online tool to collect dietary intake data and compare with dietary recommendations.

The tool, Intake24, was piloted in the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) in 2018 and carried out by Scotcen Social Research in partnership with Newcastle University. 

The report provides detailed dietary intakes from a representative sample of 1053 people living in Scotland, and forms part of FSS’s dietary surveillance programme to assess dietary intakes in Scotland against the Scottish Dietary Goals (SDGs).

Key findings of the pilot:

  • Reported intakes of saturated fat (12.8%) and non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) [1] (11.9%) need to reduce to meet the SDGs. 
  • Reported fruit and vegetable intake (2.9 portions per day) and fibre intake (15.9g per day) need to increase to meet the SDGs.
  • Reported intakes of total fat (33.8%) meet the SDG.

Overall, the approach taken to integrate Intake24 into the 2018 SHeS was broadly successful.

As this is a new methodology for monitoring diet in Scotland, it is not possible to compare directly with previous FSS dietary surveillance.  However, the results are broadly aligned with findings of other surveys which demonstrate that we are not meeting the majority of the SDGs and that diet in Scotland needs to change.

We recently published FSS’s Diet and Nutrition vision for the next five years, to support the strategic ambition for Scotland to have healthier diets.

[1] Please note that due to the food database used it was not possible to calculate free sugars.  The only difference between the definition of free sugars and NMES is that NMES also includes 50% of the sugars found in dried, stewed or canned fruit and vegetables, whereas none of the sugars found in dried, stewed or canned fruit and vegetables are included within the definition of free sugars.

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Pilot of Intake24 in the Scottish Health Survey

Intake24, an online dietary recall system designed to collect detailed dietary intake data, was piloted in the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) in 2018. The pilot was carried out by Scotcen Social Research in partnership with Newcastle University.

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