Are Scots becoming more or less healthy?

in scotland •  9 months ago 

Are Scots becoming more or less healthy? (BBC)

According to the latest Scottish Health Survey, consumption of sugary soft drinks has fallen considerably for both adults and children.

  • In 2018, 10% of adults consumed sugary drinks every day, compared to 20% in 2016, while the percentage of children aged 2-15 who consumed non-diet soft drinks daily decreased from 35% in 2015/16 to 16% in 2017/18.
  • However, the survey also showed that 65% of adults in Scotland are overweight, including 28% who are obese – a trend that has remained stable since 2008.

Analysis and Comments

  • The full survey includes a number of interesting findings on health-related topics/trends such as smoking, alcohol consumption, mental health issues, diets, and physical activity, and can be found here.
  • It is encouraging to see the clear effect the UK’s sugar tax seems to have had on the consumption levels of sugary, non-diet soft drinks. A number of countries have now introduced such taxes (Hungary being the first in 2011) to address national obesity levels.
  • The UK’s sugar tax operates differently to most other introduced systems, as it aims to work indirectly rather than directly and offers a financial incentive for the industry to reformulate their beverages to bring them below the threshold for the tax.
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