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People are eating LESS Fruit & Veg 2006-09-12

Posted by clype in Health, Scotland, Statistics.

A 100 million GBP, ten-year government health drive has failed to improve Scotland’s diet, according to a damning report, which reveals many of the country’s eating habits are worse than they were a decade ago.

Targets for healthy eating set in 1996 had not been met by 2005, with consumption of fruit and vegetables and oily fish down, while sugar consumption has risen. Salt and fat reduction targets had also been missed.

The figures have led the report’s authors to call for new legislation to enforce healthy eating, saying:

‘So pervasive is poor diet that reliance on individual choice as the prime ideology in shaping food supply is no longer an adequate policy or ideology.’

Experts said the findings highlighted a need for closer working between ‘The Scottish Executive‘ and the food industry.

The damning review came as ‘The Scottish Executive‘ unveiled plans to ban junk food such as crisps and sweets from sale in schools, while councils are to be given the power to provide free milk for the first time in 35 years.

It is hoped the ban will encourage children into better eating habits, but the report on ‘The Scottish Diet Action Plan’ (SDAP), introduced by ‘The Scottish Office’ in 1996, found that campaigns have failed to have much effect.

The review said dietary targets set for 2005 were ‘overwhelmingly not being achieved’ — and were unlikely to be hit even by 2010.

Leading nutrition experts who led the SDAP review expressed deep concern about Scotland’s ‘dire’ record on food and health.

The chairman of the review panel and professor of food policy at City University in London Mr.Tim Lang, said part of the failure has been

[Picture of Tim Lang]
‘due to a lack of joined-up thinking across government departments, across agriculture and industry’.

He said ‘The Scottish Executive‘ needed to be tougher on the food industry.

‘Something is going seriously wrong. Scotland’s rate of diet-related disease is unacceptable,’ he added.

The Food Standards Agency‘ in Scotland examined progress towards the 2005 targets. The results showed a drop in fruit and vegetable consumption from 249g a day to 246g — far below the 400g target set in 1996.

The report said a rising trend in sugar intake was linked to changing patterns of eating and drinking outside the home and had led to a ‘worrying rise’ in consumption of soft drinks and snacks.

The health minister Mr.Andy Kerr, admitted ‘The Scottish Executive‘ knew that much remained to be done to change ‘the culture of Scotland’s poor eating habits’.

Ms.Anna Denny, a scientist at ‘The British Nutrition Foundation’, said:

‘We need a “joined-up” approach involving government, food manufacturers and communities.

‘It’s all well and good to say you should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but then you have to look at how easy it is for people to access the shops to do that, and how affordable those products are.’

The Scottish National Party health spokeswoman Ms.Shona Robison, described the report as ‘extremely worrying’.

  • Poor diet is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, which is the main cause of death in Scotland and kills about 21 000 people a year.

Obesity is also ‘soaring’, with 22 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women now classed as obese.

Previously on this blog:



1. notlikethosepeople - 2006-09-13

Among others things, easy access to a decent supply could well be a factor. Are there fewer good greengrocers around the country than ten years ago? In theory one can get everything in supermarkets (but not in my local co-op, and it’s three times the price of pap), but supermarket veg. have often had the taste bred (or artificially ripened) out of them. Throw in the dreichness of a Scottish winter, and it’s understandable that people prefer pap.

2. Child-Rearing: Debate Demanded « Clipped News - 2006-09-18

[…] ‘The Scottish Executive’s’ claim that it has been successful in tackling childhood obesity and bad eating habits is harder to swallow, however. An independent report published yesterday 2006-09-12 states that, despite spending 100 million in ten years on the problem, Scots are eating even less fresh fruit and veg than a decade ago. Although ‘The Scottish Executive’ claims to be addressing many of the concerns raised in the open letter, there is still patently much work to be done. […]

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