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5 September 2016, 06:16
A healthy eating campaign aimed at encouraging people in Scotland to reduce the number of junk food snacks they eat has been launched.
The campaign from Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is aiming to address the country's diet-related poor health and obesity record.
It draws attention to the uncomfortable truth that people are potentially damaging their health by over-indulging with unhealthy and unnecessary snacks.
Around one third of children and around two thirds of adults in Scotland are currently overweight or obese and it is forecast that unless things change, 40% of adults in the country could be obese by 2030.
An FSS survey found that the average child in Scotland aged between four and 10 consumes an average of around 24.5kg of unhealthy, unnecessary snacks each year which equates to over 110,000 calories.
In addition, the average intake of sugary drinks is around 145 cans or 48 litres per year, which is equivalent to 4.6kg of sugar or 19,400 calories.
FSS say the findings highlights that people in Scotland get half of their total sugar intake and one fifth of calories from unhealthy snacks and treats such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and sugary drinks.
Ross Finnie, FSS chairman, said: "Scotland's poor health and obesity record cannot continue on its current path.
"Many people in Scotland think they have a healthy diet, however a significant number of people either forget or are simply in denial about the amount of calories they consume via unhealthy snacks.
"Too many treats and habitual unhealthy snacking soon add up and can have a long-term detrimental impact on an individual's health.
"This campaign will encourage consumers in Scotland to make small changes every day to protect theirs, and their children's health in years to come.''
The campaign was launched on Monday to coincide with FSS's five-year strategic plan to improve the nation's diet and health.
People will be encouraged to drop unhealthy snacks or swap them for healthier alternatives and share their top tips for avoiding bad snacking habits on the FSS Facebook page.
Further ideas and advice are available on the FSS website www.foodstandards.gov.scot and social media pages.