RCPCH responds to the Scottish Government's Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan

The Scottish Government have announced the publication of "A Healthier Future - Scotland's Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan". The plan highlights their vision to improve public health outcomes across the nation, with a paediatric focus on halving childhood obesity by 2030.

Responding to the publication of Scottish Government’s Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, Professor Steve Turner, Officer for Scotland for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

“With 29% of children in Scotland overweight or obese, this encouraging delivery plan comes at a pivotal time. The plan’s recognition of early intervention and the strength of policy shows, yet again, that Scottish Government truly care about public health.

“Scottish Government’s ambitious pledge to halve childhood obesity by 2030 is particularly welcome as is its suite of recommendations related to foods high in salt, sugar and fat, including consultations on restricting the promotion and marketing of certain unhealthy food and drink and an “out of home" strategy to encourage food outlets to provide calorie information to customers. We also applaud Scottish Government’s commitment to invest in tackling poverty and food insecurity over school holidays as we know poverty is a major barrier to good public health.

“In its plan, Scottish Government demonstrate the importance of education by providing healthy weight support for women before conception, a boost to breastfeeding and parenting support services and providing enhanced training for health professionals. Just like the rest of the UK, Scotland is struggling to get a grip on obesity rates but these bold policies are the catalyst required to create good health. However, despite the plan’s many merits, there are some flaws.

“To create a truly healthier Scotland, Government must introduce nutrition standards on all menus in hospitals and schools, as guidance alone is not enough. It must also work with local councils to provide planning support, to ensure any new development has its community’s health and wellbeing at its heart.”