• STV
  • MySTV

Government urged to take action to outlaw junk food offers

Doctors and health campaigners have signed an open letter in a bid to tackle the obesity problem.

Junk food: Government urged to take action.
Junk food: Government urged to take action. © STV

The Scottish Government has been urged to take action and outlaw supermarket junk food promotions.

Several of the nation's top doctors and public health experts have come together to sign an open letter in a bid to tackle the country's obesity problem.

The group, which includes a paediatrician and a liver cancer specialist, is pushing for legislation this year.

The letter, which points out that 65% of Scots and almost a third of the nation's children are overweight, calls for urgent action in September's Programme for Government.

With Scots among the heaviest in Europe, excess weight is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and causes around 2,200 cases of the disease every year.

Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer including bowel, breast womb and kidney.

The letter has been signed by:

• Professor Linda Bauld, chair in behavioural research for cancer prevention at Cancer Research UK.

• Professor Steve Turner, Scottish officer of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Aberdeen

• Dr Tom Bird, honorary consultant hepatologist, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh; intermediate Wellcome Trust fellow, University of Edinburgh; senior clinical lecturer, University of Glasgow

• Elma Murray OBE, chair of the Scottish Obesity Alliance

• Lorraine Tulloch, programme Lead, Obesity Action Scotland

"The Scottish Government must take action and commit to legislation in this autumn's Programme for Government to regulate multi-buy type price promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt."
Open letter.

The letter increases pressure on the Scottish Government to take bold action on obesity as soon as possible.

It says: "Scotland is a nation in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

"The Scottish Government must take action and commit to legislation in this autumn's Programme for Government to regulate multi-buy type price promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt.

"Every day in Scotland an overwhelming 110 tonnes of sugar are purchased on promoted offers such as 3-for-2 chocolate bars or buy-one-get-one-free mega bags of crisps which are of no nutritional value.

"Research shows that shoppers who purchase more on promotion are more likely to be overweight or obese. We also know that two-thirds of Scots support restrictions on multi-buy promotions. The case is compelling. Now's the time to act and turn the tide on obesity. The health of our nation depends upon it."

Gordon Matheson, Cancer Research UK's public affairs manager in Scotland, said: "The voice of both expert and public opinion is clear.

"Price promotions on junk food encourage people to fill their shopping trolleys with unhealthy food which is eaten all too quickly.

"New laws to restrict junk food price promotions will take away the temptation that's contributing to this obesity crisis and go a long way to helping people to keep a much healthier weight.

"The consequences of obesity on the lives of children and adults in Scotland is shocking so it's vital the Scottish Government commits to legislation this year."

"Tackling obesity is a public health priority and our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan already includes a wide range of bold measures designed to help families make healthier choices."
The Scottish Government.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "Tackling obesity is a public health priority and our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan already includes a wide range of bold measures designed to help families make healthier choices.

"We are currently considering responses to our consultation on restricting the promotion and marketing of discretionary foods high in fat, sugar or salt with little or no nutritional benefit. This will help us consider which potential actions we take in this area in future."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.