A LAW TO BAN ALL JUNK FOOD; Concern over SNP Plan for New Legislation to Reduce Sugar, Fat and Salt in Meals in Battle against Scotland's Obesity Epidemic

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2013 | Go to article overview

A LAW TO BAN ALL JUNK FOOD; Concern over SNP Plan for New Legislation to Reduce Sugar, Fat and Salt in Meals in Battle against Scotland's Obesity Epidemic


Byline: Julie-Anne Barnes Health Reporter

NEW laws cracking down on the amount of fat, salt and sugar in meals could be imposed to combat Scotland's rising tide of obesity. Yesterday, Public Health Minister Michael Matheson warned the food industry and retailers to 'act quickly' to introduce healthier options - or they would be forced to do so.

Scotland has the third highest level of obesity in the world, with the problem largely blamed on the consumption of processed foods high in sugar and fat.

But while health campaigners welcomed the Scottish Government's intervention, critics called it evidence of the 'nanny state' and accused ministers of perpetually meddling in people's lives.

Holyrood has already launched crackdowns on tobacco and alcohol.

Recently, the Scottish Government introduced a consultation on ways to improve the nation's diet, with retailers, caterers and manufacturers encouraged to devise healthier choices for consumers.

Yesterday Mr Matheson said: 'We will be working with the food industry to take on their responsibility in tackling products which are high in sugar, salt and fat.

'If necessary, if they don't take action, then I think, inevitably, governments will have to look at what legal and legislative intervention may be necessary to address these issues.

'If we don't get the speed of change that is necessary, we have said that we can always consider the issue of legislation. However, our preference is to do so in partnership with them. That's why we have set out an action plan.' But Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: 'Alcohol minimum pricing was an exception, not a rule. The government cannot micro-manage every aspect of every family's public health.

'Individuals have a responsibility for themselves and the government can advise, but we all must face up to the consequences and take an active involvement in our own health. …

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