The new results from this survey provide confirmation that folate levels are dropping across the population. Over 90% of women of childbearing age in the UK now have a red blood cell folate concentration below the threshold, indicating a higher risk of their babies being born with neural tube defects. Food Standards Scotland maintains its call for mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid on a UK-wide basis to help address this concerning drop in folate levels.
The survey, conducted before the announcement of the sugar tax levy, also shows a welcome UK wide reduction in sugar intake, and we hope to see this trend continuing. However there has also been a reduction in fibre intake in children and no real shift in the amount of fruit and vegetables we are eating. Food Standards Scotland believes that a wide-ranging strategy is imperative, with collective action needed from government, industry and individuals, if we are to address the consequences of Scotland’s poor diet and rising obesity levels.