Junk food: ‘further policy action needed,’ says watchdog

obese child

Food Standards Scotland has published its strategic ambitions for the next five years, placing a renewed emphasis on “improving the Scottish diet and associated negative health consequences”.

‘Healthy, Safe, Sustainable: Driving Scotland’s Food Future’ is the food watchdog’s second five-year plan and covers 2021 to 2026.

The agency’s Chair, Ross Finnie said the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need for “urgent action” to improve Scotland’s unhealthy eating habits.

He said: “There has been no real improvement in the last 20 years and the pandemic is a very stark warning that further policy action is needed to tackle Scotland’s poor diet. FSS will play its part by redoubling our effort on diet and health.”

Finnie had previously welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans to legislate on curbing junk food promotions. The Bill on Restricting Foods Promotions was subsequently put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Aside from promotions, it appears FSS also has the food-to-go market in its sights.

Chief Executive Geoff Ogle said: “We want to empower healthier food choices including in the out-of-home food environment such as food on-the-go, cafes, restaurants and take-aways.”