Restricting promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt - proposed regulations: consultation

This consultation seeks views on the detail of proposed regulations to restrict the promotions of foods high in fat, sugar or salt where they are sold to the public. The consultation closes on 21 May 2024. If you are unable to respond by then, please contact us and send your completed respondent information form (see supporting documents) to Responses received up to 28 May will be accepted and included in the analysis of this consultation.

Ministerial foreword

My vision is of a Scotland where everyone eats well and has a healthy weight.

Scotland has an issue with high levels of overweight and obesity and poor diet, which can have serious consequences for our health. The association between poor diet, excess weight and health outcomes such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers has been established for some time.

What surrounds us shapes our health. This is why measures to transform the food environment are so important – to support people to eat well by making the healthier choice, the easy choice. Such measures are also more likely to be effective in reducing health inequalities than by only encouraging individual behaviour change.

Promotions such as multibuy offers or placement at checkouts can directly influence the choices we make – that is what they are designed to do. Evidence shows promotions are often applied to less healthy food and drinks. This can encourage us to buy things that we do not need and to overlook cheaper, healthier alternatives. By restricting the promotion of less healthy food and drink where they are sold to the public, we can encourage healthier options and make it easier for people to eat well.

Building on previous engagement, we consulted in 2022 to inform further development and impact assessment of the policy to restrict promotion of food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt. This provided the opportunity to take account of developments such as EU exit, COVID, cost of living and the introduction of equivalent restrictions in England.

As our policy has developed, we have continued to engage, most recently through a series of roundtable events with public health and business stakeholders. In line with our vision for an economy which strikes a balance between economic growth and health in Scotland, the feedback we have gathered through our extensive engagement has further informed the development of our proposals on the detail of regulations to restrict promotions on foods high in fat, sugar or salt. These detailed proposals are set out in this consultation document, which I am pleased to launch today.

Consultation is an important and essential part of the policy making process. This consultation is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to hear your views on our proposals. I would like to thank you in advance for your contribution.

Jenni Minto MSP

Minister for Public Health and Women's Health



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