Supporting Healthy Choices: A Framework for Voluntary Action

This framework sets out the action we believe is necessary to shape and better support healthier diets in Scotland.

Supporting consumers and communities

47. Supporting consumers towards making healthier choices is a shared responsibility across all of Government, the NHS, the food industry and non-governmental organisations, including Scotland's third sector.

48. The Scottish Government, FSA Scotland and NHS Health Scotland will continue to work together to provide consistent, accessible information and advice on a healthy balanced diet for Scottish consumers. The eatwell plate is a primary source of impartial advice about a healthy balanced diet for consumers across the UK.

49. Excellent work continues on food and nutrition education for school children[16]. We will continue to work with Education Scotland to champion effective healthy food and nutrition resources across the education spectrum, aligning with Curriculum for Excellence. Many businesses also play an active part in health and wellbeing projects within Curriculum for Excellence.

50. Staff in a range of settings, including health professionals, are well placed to encourage and support action to improve dietary health, such as those providing antenatal care, early years workers, residential socials workers and prison staff.

51. Opportunities to develop cooking skills and a better understanding of food and health remain vital to help consumers access a healthy diet for themselves and their families. We will continue to work with a range of partners, including Community Food and Health Scotland, to offer hands-on cooking experiences, training and general healthy eating to a wide variety of groups in community and education settings across Scotland, for example through the Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus.

52. We recognise that some food industry businesses are also involved in work to develop cooking skills and other community food initiatives and we welcome and support this activity.

53. Training and guidance is an important route through which all businesses can improve their understanding of food and health and provide healthier options for their customers. Food and health training courses[17] are widely available across Scotland and businesses are invited to consider making this training available to their staff.

54. Provision of nutritional information enables consumers to make more informed decisions about the food and drink they purchase. Clear, consistent and easy to use nutrition labelling is therefore essential to support consumers to make healthier choices.

Commitment 9

We invite manufacturers and retailers to adopt the UK's recommended format for providing nutrition information on front of pack labelling on an ongoing basis.

55. We welcome the positive work and commitment by many food and drink businesses to voluntarily provide front of pack information to consumers, from those who have provided front of pack information for some time and from those who are now changing their labelling formats in the interests of broader consensus and for the wider population health benefit. Guidance[18], is available which can help to support businesses to take forward action on labelling.

Commitment 10

We invite out of home caterers to roll-out energy and, where possible, nutritional information on menus and displays (in print and online) across Scotland on an ongoing basis.

56. Many large-scale high street out of home caterers are already providing energy labelling and nutritional information on menus and displays in Scotland, through wider roll-out of the UK Government's Responsibility Deal pledge for England. We welcome this commitment, which helps consumers to make informed decisions about their meal or snack purchases, and wish to see this become the norm across Scotland.

57. There is an ongoing role for Government, the FSA Scotland and food industry businesses to raise awareness of labelling and nutritional information amongst consumers, including what it means and how to use it to help them make more informed choices[19]. We recognise that some food industry businesses and other partners are already taking action to raise awareness amongst consumers. We welcome this activity and invite other businesses to follow suit.

Commitment 11

We invite food industry businesses and other relevant partners to work in partnership with Scottish Government to implement our new healthy eating social marketing campaign.

58. We are looking afresh at our healthy eating social marketing campaign, known previously as Take Life On. There is considerable potential to tie-in with local support, including supermarkets, small retailers, caterers and local community food initiatives. This campaign will focus on the real challenges faced by many consumers to eat a healthier diet. The campaign is expected to launch in January 2015.

59. We will be engaging with partners over the next 6 months to discuss how we can work together in partnership to deliver the campaign. There will also continue to be opportunities to be involved with the campaign beyond January 2015.


Email: Leigh Edwardson

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