Almost 63% or two-thirds of adults in Scotland were considered overweight in 2015 with 29% categorized as obese. Among children, 28% face the risks of becoming overweight while 15% are at risk of becoming obese. This is the reason why Scotland had to introduce unpopular policies to tackle the country’s obesity problems.
Restricting cars in town and increasing parking charges will be very unpopular among the people but the policies will encourage them to walk more. Holyrood’s Health Committee is also urging the government to prevent retailers from advertising unhealthy foods. The health committee is also seriously considering whether it can bring forward its own legislative policies to tackle the problem of obesity.
In their letter to Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell, the committee promises support to the new obesity strategies that include options that will likely be unpopular to people but will result into balancing health inequalities in Scotland. The committee also highlighted the current environment in Scotland wherein unhealthy food is more prevalent and more heavily advertised compared to other countries.
About two-fifths of Scotland adults do not exercise enough to meet guidelines and the present food culture of people is to eat less but snack more. Because of poverty, there are shoppers who choose high calorie foods instead of healthier options.
In response to the committee, Aileen Campbell said that she has been consistently suggesting to the UK government to ban the advertising of junk food before the 9 PM watershed. Sometimes, when there are price promotions, people buy more than what they initially intended and consume them. It is therefore important to ensure that there are healthy choices for everyone.
Based on research, people in Scotland prefer to eat healthy foods but they are usually not included in the supermarket promotions. Retailers and manufacturers must be responsible with their promotions and the type of food that they include in their offers.
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