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Diet and nutrition: key point

  • Good nutrition is essential to both current health and wellbeing, and health and wellbeing in later life. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and tooth decay.
  • A review of progress towards dietary targets, originally set in the Scottish Diet Action Plan (SDAP) 'Eating for health' (1996) for achievement in 2005 and subsequently revised in the Revised Dietary Goals for Scotland (2013), found that none of them have yet been met. The dietary goals are being revised in 2016 in light of recommendations by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) (2015).
  • The ‘Supporting healthy choices’ framework was launched in June 2014 and has a particular focus on children’s health, promotions, helping consumers with better information, and making products and menus healthier.
  • A soft drinks industry levy was proposed in the UK Government’s 2016 budget. A period of consultation on how this should be designed and implemented has just closed and the levy will be introduced from April 2018.
  • The most recent estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption in Scotland indicate that only 19% of men and 22% of women consumed the recommended amount of five or more portions per day in 2015. The proportion of both men and women consuming five or more portions per day has remained fairly constant since 2003.
  • There was a linear decrease in salt intake in adults between 2006 and 2014 of approximately 13%.

  • People living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are less likely to meet five-a-day recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable consumption compared with those in the least deprived areas.
  • In 2015, 12% of children aged 2-15 years met the recommended daily intake of five or more portions.
  • Children with at least one parent who meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables are more likely to meet the recommended daily intake themselves.
  • In 2010, ScotPHO published a report What is known about maternal and infant nutrition in Scotland? which describes the main patterns and trends in maternal and infant nutrition from the data that are available.

Section updates:

  • The last major update of this section was completed in December 2016.
  • The next major update is due to be carried out by end December 2017.
Page last updated: 12 September 2017

© Scottish Public Health Observatory 2014