Food Standards Agency
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Slow progress on Scots diet improvements

Only slow progress is being made in reducing the population’s intake of saturated fat, total fat and added sugars, according to Scotland’s ongoing dietary monitoring programme. The most recent programme report found that the intake of these nutrients continues to be considerably higher than the Scottish dietary targets.

The research, carried out for the Food Standards Agency in Scotland by the Robert Gordon University and University of Dundee, monitors how the Scottish public is progressing towards meeting the Scottish dietary targets, which were first published in 1996.

The most recent assessment found that while the estimated consumption of fruit, wholemeal bread and high fibre breakfast cereals increased between 2001 and 2009, there were only very small reductions in saturated fat and added sugar intake. There was no reduction in total fat intake.

The results also showed that socioeconomic status had an influence on the types of food and drink consumed. The most deprived groups consumed less fruit and vegetables, as well as less brown or wholemeal bread, breakfast cereals, oily fish, white fish and complex carbohydrates than more affluent groups. Socioeconomic status didn’t influence the intake of total fat and saturated fat, but the most deprived groups ate more added sugar.

More effort is needed to achieve future population health benefit, and the Food Standards Agency in Scotland will continue to work with the Scottish Government and the food industry to improve Scotland’s diet. Ongoing monitoring will establish whether these trends continue in 2010 and beyond.

For more information please telephone Anne Milne, Food Standards Agency in Scotland, on 01224 288 377.

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