Food Standards Scotland (FSS) today (17 March 2016) launches the new Eatwell Guide, which replaces the eatwell plate and shows people in Scotland how they can achieve a healthy balanced diet.
The proportions of food groups that constitute a healthy diet were amended to reflect new guidelines for sugar and fibre that were published by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition in 2015, and accepted by Scottish Ministers on the advice of Food Standards Scotland. The new Guide contains additional advice on calorie information, front of pack labelling and messaging on key dietary recommendations.
The biggest change in the new Guide is that food and drink high in fats, salt and sugars are treated separately from other foods and the Guide includes a clear message that they should be eaten less often and in smaller amounts. That includes foods such as cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolate and ice cream. The Guide also now includes a recommendation to drink 6-8 glasses of water, milk and sugar-free drinks each day.
The new Guide provides FSS with a strong evidence base for dietary advice in Scotland, where the FSS, as the body with statutory responsibility for diet and nutrition in Scotland, has already within its first year proposed wide-ranging measures designed to improve the diet of the Scottish public. These recommendations have been accepted by Scottish Government Ministers to tackle head-on the growing obesity crisis in Scotland.
Heather Peace, Head of Nutrition Science Policy, Food Standards Scotland said:
“The Scottish diet is not improving and the problem of diet-related ill-health now spans generations.
“Our research shows that most of the Scottish population are buying and eating too many foods such as cakes, pastries, biscuits, confectionery, crisps and sugary drinks, and we should all aim to limit consumption of these. We should be eating more fruit and vegetables, more fibre-rich foods and more oil-rich fish.
“FSS has a statutory role to help consumers have a healthier diet and it is important that the public gets clear information about healthy eating. The Eatwell Guide is a simple tool which is based on robust evidence to help consumers understand how to achieve a healthy and sustainable diet.”