Improving our population’s health by ensuring everyone can access affordable, healthy food has never been more important. Dietary intakes fall short of the majority of the Scottish Dietary Goals (SDG), with little improvement towards achieving them over the past 20 years. This places a huge stress on both the NHS and society in general as the approximate costs of treating overweight and obesity in Scotland are estimated to be in the region of £363-£600 million, with wider related costs such as loss of productivity suggested to be between £0.9-£4.6 billion.
The strategy formally sets out our revised approach to addressing our statutory objective to improving the diet of the population in Scotland. It signals a greater focus on measures to influence the food environment supporting healthier and more sustainable options for consumers. At present, the food environment heavily incentivises and promotes low cost foods which over-contribute to energy, fat, saturated fat, salt and free sugar intakes. We must take action to stem the tide of unhealthy food. An improved food environment in Scotland will hasten our progress towards the dietary goals.