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5 A Day consumption falls in Scotland

Scottish Government report shows alarming decline in healthy eating north of the border, with obesity a major problem

5 A Day consumption falls in Scotland

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Attempts to shake off Scotland’s reputation as the home of the deep-fried Mars bar have received a blow with the news that people are eating fewer fruit and vegetables than a decade ago.

In a blow to healthy eating campaigns north of the border, a Scottish government report revealed the average daily consumption of fruit and veg for adults has fallen from 3.3 portions in 2008 to just three portions in 2016.

Worryingly, consumption was lowest for those aged 16-24 (2.5 portions), with people aged 55-64 eating the most at 3.3 portions. More women (22 per cent) are getting their 5 A Day than men (17 per cent), the Scottish Health Survey shows.

On the day of the survey last year, only 13 per cent of children aged 2-15 met the aspirational 5 A Day target the day before, a figure relatively stable since 2008. More girls (15 per cent) reached the goal than boys (11 per cent).

Men continue to consume a worse diet than women, the survey suggests, with almost twice as many men (42 per cent) eating processed meat products at least twice a week as women (23 per cent). Overall, children tended to consume foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar more often than adults.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two thirds (65 per cent) of adults were found to be overweight in 2016, including 29 per cent who were obese – figures largely unchanged since 2008. Men were significantly more likely to be overweight and obese than women.

There was at least some good news with the finding that 70 per cent of children aged 2-15 were of healthy weight in 2016 – a figure in line with what was seen in 1998 – and there has been a significant decline in the prevalence of the risk of obesity in children between 2014 (17 per cent) and 2016 (14 per cent). That matches the lowest recorded rate in 1998.

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