Physical Activity, Diet and Healthy Weight

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th November 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

Absolutely—I agree. That is all part of the educational journey for youngsters. However, the key thing is that we must ensure that there is an improvement in the quality of the food that is being delivered to children for lunch and, in some cases, breakfast.

Members who have spoken in the debate have said that it is a damning indictment of Scotland’s health that we have the lowest life expectancy not only in the United Kingdom but in western Europe. A 2017 Audit Scotland report found that many key trends indicated that overall health in Scotland is not improving in the way that we would like. That is why, as the Conservative spokesperson on education, I feel that we must focus on the diet and nutrition aspects of the motion.

I think that we all welcome the fact that one of the key outcomes in the diet and healthy weight plan is the emphasis that is placed on children having the best start in life by eating well and having a healthy weight. Apart from anything else, children who have that healthy early start do much better at school, irrespective of where they come from and their income background.

The “Scottish Conservative Healthy Lifestyle Strategy”, which was published by Brian Whittle last year, was founded on the belief that issues such as health, education, planning and housing have cross-party and cross-portfolio relevance and that policy must be based on three key, interconnected pillars: nutrition, the educational environment and physical activity. Education in particular is very much the solution to improving health and welfare, irrespective of who we are.