Scottish government under pressure to restrict unhealthy food promotion

  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
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The Scottish government is being put under pressure by a host of royal colleges and a number of charities to take "urgent action" to restrict all promotions on food and drink that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

In a letter to the First Minister, the members of the Scottish Obesity Alliance to commit to legislation to regulate multi-buy price promotions of HFSS products in this autumn’s Programme for Government.

The letter is co-signed by 20 leading national health charities, medical royal colleges, campaign groups and professional bodies, including the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health Scotland, the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow.

In the letter, the Alliance says restricting HFSS promotions is a "vital step in creating a Scotland where everyone can enjoy a healthy weight." "To delay will undermine your Government’s determination to tackle health inequalities and reduce childhood obesity by 50 per cent by 2030," they warn the First Minister.

“We are bombarded by promotions on food and drink products that contain excessive amounts of calories, fat, sugar and salt. Multi-buy, temporary price reductions and extra free promotions all alter price perceptions and encourage people to buy a greater number of unhealthy products. Displays at checkouts prompt further impulse buys,” the group says.

It calls on the government to “be bold” and introduce legislation this year to regulate HFSS multi-buy price promotions. “You will have the overwhelming support of the public and public health professionals if you act without delay,” the letter tells the government leader.