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Have your say: Scottish Government moves to restrict promotions of unhealthy food and drink

By David Porter

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The public is being asked for views on proposals to restrict the promotion of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt.

Foods that are high in salt and sugar could see promotional restrictions. Picture: David Porter
Foods that are high in salt and sugar could see promotional restrictions. Picture: David Porter

The consultation, which will run for 12 weeks, will outline the detail of proposed regulations aimed at restricting multi-buys, unlimited refills or selling at locations such as at checkouts and front of store.

Feedback on the proposals will help to inform regulations to be laid before the Scottish Parliament, subject to the outcome of the consultation.

Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said: “Improving health and supporting people to eat well and have a healthy weight is a public health priority.

"We need to address the high levels of excess weight, obesity and poor diet we know are contributing to worsening trends in Scotland’s health.

"The association between these issues and health outcomes such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers has been established for some time.

“We want to ensure Scotland is a place where we eat well and have a healthy weight."

Public Health Scotland and Food Standards Scotland have both welcome the consultation.

Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Public Health Scotland, said: "Cost-of-living pressures have put healthier options out of reach for many.

"Very often, the food that is most accessible and heavily promoted are those most damaging to our health.

"It’s only through direct action, like addressing marketing behaviours on unhealthy food, that we can improve Scotland’s health and reduce the widening health inequalities we are experiencing."

Geoff Ogle, Chief Executive of Food Standards Scotland, said:"Promotions and marketing of unhealthy foods are a major part of our food environment and now more than ever what surrounds us, shapes us.

"We know that promotions are skewed towards these unhealthy options and can encourage us to buy more than we intended to.

If now is not the time to take action, when is? "

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on May 21.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

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