greggs diet

Health-conscious Scots are becoming wary about food promotions, a new report by FSS found

More than 70% of Scots believe promotions are skewed towards unhealthy products, according to a new report commissioned by Food Standards Scotland.

The survey, carried out by Kantar TNS among 1,000 adults during the summer, found the number of Scottish people concerned about having a healthy diet was increasing.

It found 65% of people thought their diet was unhealthy, a rise of 15 percentage points since December 2015 when FSS began carrying out the bi-annual survey.

People in Scotland perceived one of the biggest barriers to eating healthily to be price, with 77% concerned about food prices generally and about half (47%) believing it was too expensive to eat healthily.

About seven in 10 of the population (71%) said they worried unhealthy foods were on promotion more than healthy ones.

Last week the Scottish government announced plans, backed by FSS, to ban promotions on HFSS food and drinks. Industry sources predicted the move could hit tens of thousands of SKUs and lead to price rises across many sectors.

A consultation launched by minister for public health and sport Aileen Campbell said the government was “minded to act” on proposals set out to ban promotions on HFSS food and drinks. These included axing multibuys and restricting temporary price reductions on products deemed to be contributing to obesity.

Heather Peace, head of public health nutrition at FSS, said: “The results from the Food in Scotland consumer tracking survey show that there is growing public concern about Scotland’s poor diet and associated ill health. There is also increasing support for the changes needed to improve diet and health in Scotland. Many of our recommendations are reflected in the Scottish government’s consultation on diet and obesity.

“It’s clear that moving towards a healthier diet is more important than ever in Scotland and that an increasing number of people are acknowledging the impact obesity is having on our lives. These results show awareness isn’t enough though: it is time for collective action from government, industry and individuals.

“We will continue to drive progress in all sectors and work with Scottish government to reduce the level of diet-related ill health and the burden this places on the NHS and our economy.”