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Scottish gov urged to 'toughen' stance on obesity

The Scottish Government needs to 'toughen' its stance against the food industry if it wants to achieve its aim of bringing down obesity levels within the next 30 years.

Speaking at a Nursing in Practice conference in Glasgow on 28 February, Michael Craig, public health advisor to NHS Scotland said obesity levels in Scotland have grown from 18% in 1995 to 29% in 2010.

He also added that the prevalence of obesity among Scottish females is now higher than that of the US - a fact that drew gasps among nurses attending the event. 

The Scottish Government's 2010 obesity strategy relies on food manufacturers volunteering to reduce the availability and affordability of junk food.

Craig said the government's 'nudging' campaign is failing to yield any results.

“We have had a nudging strategy for quite a while now and there hasn't been a real difference made in our obesity levels,” he said.

“I would like to see the government take a tougher stance against the food industry as it is the only way we will cause significant change around the way in which we consume food.”

Craig also told NiP Scottish MPs are “not quite there yet” in terms of introducing 'fat taxes'.

He claimed MPs are being swayed by public fears of a 'nanny state' and it will be “quite a few years” before a decision is made.

By Louise Naughton

Question: Do you think the Scottish Government's 'nudging' campaign is working?