News & Updates

FSS Responds to UK Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy

While Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is pleased that the UK Government has today published its Childhood Obesity Strategy for England, we feel that the proposed range of measures does not go far enough in addressing current diet-related health issues. Whilst the Strategy sets out plans for England, it rules out some measures such as advertising restrictions which are reserved, meaning they have an impact in Scotland. This is why Food Standards Scotland’s proposals on tackling poor diet in Scotland, first published in January and re-emphasised in our Strategy, Shaping Scotland’s Food Future, published yesterday, go further. It is vitally important that we give children the best possible chance in life. Unless we take action now, we risk condemning our children to the same habits and poor diets that have led to current obesity levels of 30%, and on this current trajectory, projections that 40% of the population in Scotland will be obese by 2030.

In January, the FSS Board recommended a package of measures to Scottish Ministers with proposals including fiscal measures and regulation around food and drink promotions, if the food industry cannot achieve effective change by voluntary means. Portion size reduction and tougher targets for reformulation of foods and drinks were also recommended. It is disappointing that, despite the clear benefits that could be achieved with a UK-wide approach to tackling obesity through advertising and marketing, there was no discussion with Scotland before the UK Government decided not to pursue this option. FSS believes that wide ranging and meaningful measures are needed to improve dietary outcomes, and that a holistic approach is vital in tackling obesity. This is an issue for us all, and collaboration between Government, industry and individuals is essential to ensure Scotland turns the tide, and is a healthy, prosperous nation for the future.

FSS Chair Ross Finnie said: “Any proposals to move towards improved diets and better health are to be welcomed, but today’s announcement by the UK Government simply does not go far enough. It is particularly disappointing that some crucial measures such as taking action on promotions and on advertising and marketing have been ignored. In January, the FSS board agreed such a package, with proposals ranging from taxation to regulation around food and drink promotions. Portion size reduction and tougher targets for reformulation of foods and drinks were also recommended. We expect industry to engage with us on our more comprehensive approach rather than just the more narrowly drawn plan of the UK Government.”

More on this topic

Description of image



Our advice covers everything from getting the right amount of healthy food and cutting down on fat, salt and sugar to hydration and staying active.

Description of image


Healthy Eating

Eating healthily helps us stay at the right weight and lowers the risk of diet-related illness.

Arrow_Dropdown Created with Sketch. Arrow_leftArrow_Right Icon_AlchoholIcon_Alchohol_RoundalIcon_AppleIcon_Apple_RoundalIcon_BacteriaIcon_Bacteria_Roundal calorie-outlined Created with Sketch. Icon_CardActivityIcon_CardActivity_RoundalIcon_CarrotIcon_Carrot_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Celery Created with Sketch. Icon_CertificateIcon_Certificate_RoundalIcon_CheeseIcon_Cheese_RoundalIcon_ChocolateIcon_Chocolate_RoundalIcon_ClipboardIcon_Clipboard_Roundal Icon_CloseIcon_CowIcon_Cow_Roundal Shape Created with Sketch. Icon/roundal/Allergen/Crustaceans Created with Sketch. Icon_CursorIcon_Cursor_RoundalIcon_DeerIcon_Deer_RoundalIcon_download Icon/roundal/Allergen/Eggs Created with Sketch. Icon_Facebook_RoundalIcon-FeaturedIcon_Fish Icon/roundal/Allergen/Fish Created with Sketch. Icon_Fish_RoundalIcon_FizzyJuiceIcon_FizzyJuice_RoundalIcon_ForkIcon_Fork_RoundalIcon_FridgeIcon_Fridge_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Wheat Created with Sketch. Icon_GrainIcon_GrainNoIcon_GrainNo_RoundalIcon_Grain_RoundalIcon_GraphIcon_GraphResourceIcon_Graph_RoundalIcon_HandIcon_Hand_RoundalIcon_HeartIcon_Heart_RoundalIcon_InfoIcon_Info_Roundal instagram Icon_LambIcon_Lamb_RoundalIcon_LetterIcon_Letter_RoundalIcon_LinkExternalIcon_LinkInternal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Lupin Created with Sketch. Icon_MagnifyingGlassIcon_MagnifyingGlass_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Milk Created with Sketch. Icon/roundal/Allergen/Molluscs Created with Sketch. Icon/roundal/Allergen/Mustrard Created with Sketch. Icon_NewIcon_NewsIcon_News_RoundalIcon_OilIcon_Oil_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Peanuts Created with Sketch. Icon_PeopleIcon_People_RoundalIcon_PersonIcon_Person_RoundalIcon_PhoneIcon_Phone_RoundalIcon_PigIcon_Pig_RoundalIcon_PlayIcon_PotatoesIcon_Potatoes_RoundalIcon_PrintIcon_Print_RoundalIcon_ResourceIcon_Resource_Roundal Group Created with Sketch. Icon_SaltIcon_Salt_RoundalIcon_SaveIcon_Save_RoundalIcon_ScotlandIcon_Scotland_RoundalIcon_Search Icon/roundal/Allergen/Sesame Seeds Created with Sketch. Icon_ShellfishIcon_Shellfish_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Soybeans Created with Sketch. Icon-SpiralIcon_SteakIcon_Steak_RoundalIcon_StopwatchIcon_Stopwatch_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Sulphur dioxide and sulphites Created with Sketch. Icon_TapWaterIcon_TapWater_RoundalIcon_TestTubeIcon_TestTube_RoundalIcon_ThumbsUpIcon_ThumbsUp_RoundalIcon_Tick Shape Created with Sketch. Icon_Tick_1Icon_Tick_Roundal Icon_TomatoIcon_Tomato_RoundalIcon_TractorIcon_Tractor_Roundal Icon/roundal/Allergen/Tree nuts Created with Sketch. Icon_TrollyIcon_Trolly_RoundalIcon_TurkeyIcon_TurkeyCookedIcon_TurkeyCooked_RoundalIcon_Turkey_Roundal Icon_Twitter_RoundalIcon_WarningIcon_Warning_Roundal Icon_Warning_Roundal_WithBG Icon_WaterDropIcon_WaterDrop_RoundalIcon_WineBottleIcon_WineBottle_RoundalIcon_WineGlassIcon_WineGlass_Roundal youtube Icon_snowflakeIcon_snowflake_RoundalLogo_FSS_Gaelic_WhiteLogo_FSS_WhitePagination_LeftArtboard 69