Provision of buffet meals to combat obesity: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01950
Date received: 3 July 2018
Date responded: 20 July 2018

Information requested

Information regarding proposals that you feel may affect the provision of buffet meals in our attempts to combat the issue of obesity.


The Scottish Government is in the process of introducing plans to reshape the food environment in order to encourage and make it easier for people to make healthier dietary choices. The evidence we have shows that such changes are more likely to have a positive impact on shifting dietary behaviour without the need for banning any particular food or drink.

As part of the Scottish Government's plans, we are proposing to introduce measures to restrict the promotion and marketing of certain foods - generally, those that are high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS). One type of promotion which could entice the consumer to purchase food and drinks more regularly or in greater quantity is unlimited refills.

In terms of unlimited refills, I would like to emphasise, that these measures do not apply to main meals. Our proposals are specifically targeted at confectionery, sweet biscuits, crisps, savoury snacks, cakes, pastries, puddings, and sugary soft drinks. We will consult on these proposals in the autumn. For more detail, you may wish to take a look at our recently published Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan

Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan

which sets out our vision to create a Scotland where everyone eats well and has a healthy weight; and our ambitions to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and to significantly reduce health inequalities. Nine out of ten people in Scotland believe obesity is a serious problem and responses to a public consultation earlier this year on our diet and healthy weight plan showed strong support for government restrictions on the marketing and promotion of unhealthy food.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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