Scale Down Cancer

Influencing the Scottish obesity strategy

What is the campaign about?

Nearly 40% of all calories in Scotland are purchased as a result of price promotions. In fact, 110 tonnes of sugar from unhealthy drinks and snacks are bought on special offer every day.

Obesity is the 2nd biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking and Scotland’s obesity levels are the worst in the UK.

As you may have noticed, price promotions are usually on unhealthy foods. Restricting them across shops in Scotland could help more people switch to healthier foods and reduce obesity. The Scale Down Cancer campaign asks Scottish Government to do just that – asking MSPs to restrict price promotions on junk food, including multi-buys like buy-one-get-one-free and 3 for 2, in its new Diet & Healthy Weight Plan.

  • Price promotions tend to be used in the promotion of unhealthier food and drinks – and they increase the amount we buy. 
  • According to Food Standards Scotland, in 2016 around a third of all calories in Scotland were bought on price promotion.
  • Polling by Cancer research UK in 2017 found that around 2/3 of Scottish adults, at some point, felt encouraged to buy more unhealthy food because of multi-buy offers than if it were at full price.  
  • The Scottish public is already aware of the impact that price promotions have on their health.
  • Three quarters of Scottish parents would like to see the balance of promotions shifted towards healthier items.
  • Two thirds of Scots support restrictions on multibuy promotions,
  • 9 in 10 parents believe supermarket promotions impact what they buy. 

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