Scottish Government
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Making healthier food choices easier

Consultation on restricting junk food promotions.

Proposals to limit the promotion of food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt have been published.

The Scottish Government’s consultation seeks views on restricting the promotion of confectionery, cakes, crisps, savoury snacks and sugary soft drinks at checkouts and front of store, and on multi-buy discounts.

The aim is to reduce the health harms associated with poor diet and higher weight.

The consultation will help assess what impact the proposed restrictions would have on businesses and public health, including on health inequalities. It will run for 12 weeks to 23 September 2022.

Minister for Public Health Maree Todd recently said:

“Our diets remain too high in calories, fat, sugar and salt which can have serious consequences for our overall health.

“In Scotland, two out of three adults are overweight or obese, with those living in our poorest areas more likely to be overweight and experience the most harm as a result.

“We know that promotions can encourage over-consumption and impulse buying.

“By restricting the promotion of less healthy food and drink we can better support people to make healthier choices and help create a Scotland where everyone eats well and has a healthy weight.”

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) Head of Nutrition Science and Policy Dr Gillian Purdon recently said:

“We welcome the launch of the Scottish Government’s consultation on restricting promotions of foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

“FSS supports the introduction of promotional restrictions on these products as part of a suite of recommendations to address the nation’s poor diet. Promotions can encourage us to buy more than we need, and don’t necessarily save us money.

“Evidence shows that a considerable amount of the food and drink we buy is on promotion, and is often skewed towards less healthy choices such as confectionery, sweet biscuits, savoury snacks, cakes, pastries, puddings and sugar containing soft drinks. These foods account for around 20% of calories and fat in our diet, and more than half of our free sugar intake.

“Restricting promotions of these types of foods is one way to support people to make healthier choices.”


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