Health is the focus in Food Standards Scotland’s five-year plan

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

FSS outlined measures to reduce Scottish obesity
FSS outlined measures to reduce Scottish obesity

Related tags: Nutrition

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) outlined measures to improve the safety of food and tackle the growing obesity problem north of the border, as it focused on health and nutrition in its five-year strategy report.

FSS said it would develop dietary guidelines for Scotland, provide advice for the Scottish government on policies and monitor progress towards meeting the Scottish Dietary Goals (SDGs). The report acknowledged that it could not expect everybody to eat healthier by themselves, as it can be expensive to eat nutritious food.

The report, published today (August 17), said: “We know that many people find it difficult to make the long-term changes that will reduce the likelihood of health risks associated with poor diet.

‘A shared responsibility’

“Whilst there is much that individuals can do for themselves, rebalancing the diet must be a shared responsibility – shared between individuals, communities, the food and drink industry and both local and central government.”

About two-thirds of Scottish adults are either overweight or obese, according to FSS. A Public Health England study found Scotland was the fifth most obese country in the world.

FSS chief executive Geoff Ogle said: “We cannot continue on our current trajectory towards 40% of the population in Scotland being obese by 2030, so making an impact on the dietary contribution to obesity is a priority for FSS.

“Poor diet is one of the most significant causes of ill health in Scotland.”

£4.5bn a year

The FSS report said public obesity cost NHS Scotland as much as £4.5bn a year. This figure could double by 2030 if current trends continued.

“Our efforts must be focused on working collaboratively with stakeholders to address challenges related to consumer interest, ensuring that consumers’ health and wellbeing is protected,”​ said Ogle.

“Strong partnership working and collaboration will be essential for success. FFS will work with central and local government, with industry, other regulators, the third sector ​[charities] and with the public.”

Meanwhile, an outbreak of E.coli​ hospitalised two people earlier this month in Lanarkshire. FSS investigated the possible E.coli​ contamination from unpasteurised blue cheese​.

FSS measures to tackle obesity – at a glance:

  • Develop measures to minimise consumption of discretionary foods and drinks
  • Advise Scottish government on policies
  • Monitor and report progress toward Scottish Dietary Goals (SDGs)

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