Briefing on Discretionary Foods

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This paper provides an evidence base for policy actions to reduce current intakes of discretionary foods including confectionery, sweet biscuits, savoury snacks, cakes, pastries, puddings and sugar containing soft drinks. These foods are typically high in fat, sugar or salt, and provide little or no nutritional benefit necessary for a healthy diet.

These foods have a significant impact on the diet, accounting for, on average, about one fifth of total calories, total fat and saturated fats and over half of daily free sugar consumption.

The FSS briefing on discretionary foods has been informed by a detailed understanding of the Scottish diet which shows that there is very limited capacity for these foods in a healthy diet. A key step towards meeting our dietary goals in Scotland would be to reduce our intakes of these foods, by around a half.