Long Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities: Headline Indicators – October 2015

Annual update of the 'Long-term Monitoring of Health Inequalities' headline indicators.

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Total and saturated fat

Indicator Source: Food Standards Scotland

Latest Results

  • In 2014, the percentage of household food energy from all fats was 39.5%, above the recommendation of no more than 35% and relatively stable over time.
  • The percentage of food energy from saturated fat was 15.3%, compared with the recommendation of no more than 11%.

Figure 6: Proportion of household food energy from fat, 2001-2014

About This Indicator

Desired Outcome:

Reduced energy intake.

Relevant Route Map action:

All energy consumption actions.

Indicator Sources:

  • Food Standards Scotland commissioned analysis of data from the ONS Living Cost and Food Survey. Estimated nutrient intakes are calculated from household food purchases following secondary analysis to convert purchase data to mean per capita consumption and nutrient intakes and to allow meaningful comparisons to be made between years.


Information is collected on differences in food and nutrient intake by deprivation (using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)).

Geography available: Population level information is collected on differences in food and nutrient intake by urban/rural classification.

Rationale for including this indicator:

The aim of this indicator is to monitor change in the proportion of the population consuming energy dense foods. Currently people are eating more saturated fat on average than is recommended (FSAS Barton et al, 2010). Prevalence of obesity indicates that energy intakes currently exceed energy requirements. Both these issues raise serious health concerns, particularly in relation to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers (SHeS).

Recommendations for food and nutrient intake are based on advice from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). Published Dietary Reference Values cover a range of intakes for most nutrients and for fat and saturated fat are set as a percentage of daily energy intake for adults.

Factors influencing this indicator:

  • Availability, cost, and access to different food types.


Email: Craig Kellock

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