Scotland’s health is of high importance and I am proud my colleagues in the SNP Scottish Government have ensured health spending has increased to record levels under the SNP, with Scotland’s health budget rising to a record high of nearly £13 billion this year, which includes a £250 million investment to be directed to Health and Social Care partnerships, to ensure improved outcomes in social care and support integration.
The UK Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, which was published in August, is unambitious and underwhelming and it needs to go further to tackle one of the biggest health issues that faces society today. You may be interested to note that the SNP Scottish Government are developing their own strategy for Scotland, which focuses on diet and obesity, and will reinforce our action on the promotion of unhealthy foods. We’re disappointed that the UK Government recently announced plan fails to include further restrictions on junk food advertising. A ban of these adverts after 9pm would significantly reduce children’s exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and ensure measures like the soft drinks levy do not operate in isolation.
The SNP are fully committed to ensuring Scotland becomes a healthier nation and my colleagues in the Scottish Government are taking a range of steps to help people to eat more healthily, including working with the food and drink industry to encourage a step-change in offering healthier choices and promoting healthier recipes. Campaigns such as ‘Eat Better Feel Better’ have been successful in promoting healthy eating, while healthy eating projects have received funding of over £10m in the four years to 2016 to further help with promoting healthy eating in Scotland.