Scottish Government unveils plan to make eating out healthier

The Scottish Government has outlined plans to work closely with the food industry to make eating out healthier in a bid to tackle the obesity crisis.

The Out of Home Action Plan includes proposals for a code of practice for healthier children’s menus and calorie labelling on menus in cafes, restaurants and takeaways.

Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “We know that by giving people more information, such as the number of calories in meals, empowers people to make healthier decisions when eating out, or ordering in. This plan proposes bold measures on how we can work with the food industry to create sustainable change to reduce harm to people’s health caused by poor diet and excess weight.

“It remains an unwelcome reality that communities experience health, quality of life and even life expectancy differently across our society and the current health emergency has further highlighted the damaging impact of inequality. The Out of Home Action Plan is a welcome step in working together with partners to reduce health inequalities and support people to live longer healthier lives everywhere in Scotland.”

The Out of Home Action Plan has been developed following recommendations made by Food Standards Scotland before the pandemic, as a result of actions agreed in the Scottish Government’s 2018 Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan.

Food Standards Scotland Chair, Ross Finnie, said: “While we recognise there has been a significant disruption during the pandemic, the rise in take-away and delivery services means it is critical we work with the sector to take steps that support a healthy diet and healthy weight.”

Chief Executive of Public Health Scotland, Angela Leitch, added: “We have a shared national ambition in Scotland to be a country where we eat well, have a healthy weight and are physically active.

“Local take away businesses, cafes, restaurants and others in the out of home sector continue to play an important role in supporting changes that will help improve our diet and in turn maintain a healthy weight.”

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