News & Updates

Food Standards Scotland survey shows increasing public concern over diet in Scotland

  • 65% concerned about people having an unhealthy diet
  • 77% say food prices are causing them concern and almost half (47%) believe it’s too expensive to eat healthily
  • 71% worry about unhealthy foods being on price promotion more often than healthy foods

Food Standards Scotland has today (31 October 2017) published the latest results from the biannual ‘Food in Scotland’ Consumer Tracking Survey, showing the number of people concerned about having a healthy diet is increasing.

65% of people in Scotland are concerned about having an unhealthy diet – a rise of 15 percentage points since December 2015 when Food Standards Scotland began measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards food in Scotland.

The survey also shows that people in Scotland perceive one of the biggest barriers to eating healthily to be price, with 77% concerned about food prices generally and around half of the public (47%) believe it’s too expensive to eat healthily.

There is also significant concern over less healthy foods being on price promotion more often, with around 7 in 10 of the population (71%) agreeing that this as an area that worries them.

The survey shows that as a nation we are aware of the causes of obesity and the steps needed to address our unhealthy diet. Over three-quarters of the population in Scotland are also in favour of government intervention to limit how much sugar, fat or salt goes into our food.

Heather Peace, Head of Public Health Nutrition at Food Standards Scotland said: “The results from the Food in Scotland consumer tracking survey show that there is growing public concern about Scotland’s poor diet and associated ill health. There is also increasing  support for the changes needed  to improve diet and health in Scotland. Many of our recommendations are reflected in Scottish Government’s consultation on diet and obesity.

“It’s clear that moving towards a healthier diet is more important than ever in Scotland and that an increasing number of people are acknowledging the impact obesity is having on our lives. These results show awareness isn’t enough though: it is time for collective action from government, industry and individuals.

“We will continue to drive progress in all sectors and work with Scottish Government to reduce the level of diet-related ill health and the burden this places on the NHS and our economy.”

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