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Food and Health

Healthy Eating

In Scotland, eating habits are the second major cause, after smoking, of poor health. The national diet contributes to a range of serious illnesses which include coronary heart disease, certain cancers, strokes, osteoporosis and diabetes.

This site provides key information about the programme of action to influence and encourage the nation to adopt a healthier diet.

Developed jointly by the Scottish Government and Food Standards Agency in Scotland, the Supporting Healthy Choices framework invites the food and drink industry and other partners to take specific voluntary action to create a healthier food environment for consumers; one which readily encourages healthier choices and better supports sustained health behaviour change. The food and drink industry is particularly well placed to influence the choices consumers make and this is reflected in this framework.

The Scottish Government also announced new funding for the Scottish Grocers Federation Healthy Living Programme and significantly expanded the products that can be promoted under the scheme in our new guidance for promoting produce for members of the Programme:

In June 2014 the Scottish Government published the Beyond the School Gate guidance. This was developed by a working group of relevant stakeholders as an information resource which provides guidance for local authorities, schools, retailer and caterers to help them improve the food environment around schools.

The Scottish Government is spending £7.5 million over three years on healthy eating projects in this period and we are funding a number of programmes aimed at helping people to make healthier choices:

  • In January 2015 we launched Eat Better Feel Better this will encourage and support people to make healthier choices to the way they shop, cook and eat. We are working with major retailers and community groups across the country to give people the support and advice to make healthier choices.
  • Overweight and obesity - In 2010 we published a long term strategy to tackle obesity, Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland: A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight, complimented by the Obesity Route Map Action Plan, which details the actions across Government that, with our partners, will be taken forward to address the increasing prevalence of obesity in Scotland

More information on food programmes and initiatives to help people make informed choices to a healthier lifestyle: