In Scotland, poor diet contributes significantly to health inequalities including our high rates of preventable disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Progress towards meeting the Scottish Dietary Goals continues to be slow; consumption of foods high in fats, salt and sugar remains too high whilst intake of fruit and vegetables, oily fish and fibre is stubbornly low.
There is considerable scope for action and Government, business, public and third sectors, as well as consumers, all have a role to play to support healthier choices in Scotland. A lot of innovative work is already underway. However, with nearly two-thirds of adults and a third of children in Scotland overweight or obese, it is clear that we need to do more to support people to eat a healthy balanced diet.
Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, this new Supporting Healthy Choices Voluntary Framework sets out the action we believe is necessary to shape and better support healthier diets in Scotland.
Developed jointly by the Scottish Government and Food Standards Agency in Scotland, this 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. From reformulation and rebalancing promotions to labelling and marketing, I urge partners to consider how they can work with us to achieve our vision for a healthier Scotland.
The Scottish Government and the Food Standards Agency in Scotland are committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders to deliver the action set out in this framework whilst continuing to promote sustainable economic growth across the food and drink sector. In doing so, we want to celebrate success and recognise those partners who are leading the way and share good practice. Equally, we want to work with, and support, those who are taking pragmatic steps in the right direction, often in a challenging economic climate, to help them do more.
Together, we can create the step change required to support healthier diets in Scotland and realise our vision of a healthier, more prosperous Scotland.
Minister for Public Health
Email: Leigh Edwardson