No im­prove­ment to di­ets

Health: Scots still eat­ing too many foods high in sug­ars and sat­u­rated fat

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY CA­TRI­ONA WEB­STER

Lit­tle progress has been made in im­prov­ing the diet of Scots over the past 15 years, new re­search has found.

The study by Robert Gor­don, Aber­tay and New­cas­tle uni­ver­si­ties found no in­crease in the con­sump­tion of fruit and vegeta­bles and of oily fish over the pe­riod.

Mean­while, the en­ergy den­sity of di­ets has in­creased, and while there was a small re­duc­tion in the lev­els of free sug­ars and sat­u­rated fat, they still re­main too high in re­la­tion to na­tional di­etary goals.

Red and pro­cessed meat con­sump­tion did re­duce over the pe­riod, with the av­er­age level on tar­get.

House­holds in the most deprived ar­eas of the coun­try were found to eat sig­nif­i­cantly less fruit, vegeta­bles, oil-rich fish and fi­bre than those in the wealth­i­est ar­eas.

Nu­tri­tion­ist Dr Karen Barton from Aber­tay Univer­sity said: “We found dif­fer­ences in di­etary in­take by de­pri­va­tion – with house­holds in the most deprived ar­eas con­sum­ing sig­nif­i­cantly less fruit, vegeta­bles, oil­rich fish and fi­bre than those in the least deprived ar­eas.

“How­ever, in­takes for all groups of the pop­u­la­tion were con­sid­er­ably lower than the Scot­tish Di­etary Goals.

“The fruit and vegetable rec­om­men­da­tion in par­tic­u­lar is well-known – five por­tions per day – but that aware­ness does not seem to trans­late into changes in our di­etary be­hav­iour.”

Prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor and nu­tri­tion­ist Dr Lind­sey Mas­son added: “In Scot­land, 65% of adults are over­weight and 29% of adults are obese.

“There­fore, it is es­sen­tial that we re­duce our con­sump­tion of foods that are high in su­gar and fat – namely bis­cuits, con­fec­tionery, crisps, cakes, pas­tries, puddings and sug­ary drinks.

“In ad­di­tion to rais­ing aware­ness of the health ben­e­fits, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment needs to sup­port the pop­u­la­tion to achieve these goals.”

Re­searchers used food pur­chase data from the UK liv­ing costs and food sur­vey to look at trends in food con­sump­tion and nu­tri­ent in­takes be­tween 2013 and 2015, and com­par­ing these to fig­ures from 2001 to 2012.

The study was de­signed to mon­i­tor progress to­wards the Scot­tish Di­etary Goals, as last up­dated in 2016.

“In Scot­land, 65% of adults are over­weight and 29% are obese”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Oily fish, such as smoked salmon, is not con­sumed as of­ten as rec­om­mended by the Scot­tish Di­etary Goals

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