Diet and Healthy Weight Consultations

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30 May 2023.

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Photo of Sandesh Gulhane Sandesh Gulhane Conservative

As a practising general practitioner, I am all too familiar with the obesity crisis that has developed in Scotland. Our country has one of the world’s worst records on obesity, with two thirds of all adults in Scotland being overweight.

Make no mistake—obesity is one of the biggest issues that affects our health service. It is estimated to cost up to £600 million a year. The Scottish National Party has declined to take action on the issue for the past 16 years. The prevalence of overweight people has increased over the past 10 years, and the percentage of children who are a healthy weight is at its lowest-ever level.

The minister’s statement does little to address the obesity epidemic that is sweeping across Scotland. It amounts to, on energy drinks, “We won’t do this”; on mandatory calorie labelling, “We’re not sure”; and on restrictions on promotions, “Let’s do some more thinking.” What was the point of the statement?

How much money has been spent to date on the consultations? What concrete work and action is the minister taking?