Scotland

A snapshot of Scotland's eating habits

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The latest report by Scotland's new food body offers an intriguing glimpse into the eating habits of the nation.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has found that 400 billion calories worth of food was purchased by Scots households in 2014/15, the equivalent of just over 2,000 calories per person, per day.

The report also discovered that there was 115g of sugar in the food the average Scot purchased daily last year - well above the World Health Organisation's recommended intake of 25g a day.

However, its statistics should be treated with some caution.

The report relates to how many calories are purchased, rather than consumed and takeaways, restaurant meals and working lunches are also excluded.


1. Sugar

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Soft drinks, biscuits, confectionary, table sugar, cakes and pastries contained more than 45% of the sugar purchased by Scots last year.

Although fruit topped the list of "total sugar purchases" in Scotland in 2014/15, many less health foods made it into Food Standards Scotland's top 10 list.

Category Percentage of total sugar purchase
Fruit 12.3%
Table sugar 11.5%
Regular soft drinks 11.2%
Confectionary 10.7%
Milk 9.2%
Biscuits 6.8%
Sweet home cooking 4.7%
Cakes and pastries 4.9%
Breakfast cereals 3.3%
Vegetables and salad leaves 3.0%

2. Soft drinks

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The amount of regular soft drinks bought by households in Scotland dropped by 21% in 2014/15 - but sales of diet drinks remained static.

A total of 173 million litres of drinks with added sugar were sold to Scots homes last year.


3. Cakes and pastries

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About one billion individual servings of cakes and pastries are purchased by Scottish households annually.

However the FSS has found that the amount of sugar and fats found in the products has risen steadily since 2011.


4. Puddings and desserts

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The numbers of puddings and desserts bought into homes in Scotland has dropped by 7% since 2010.

Despite that, the amount of fat the Scottish population receives from puddings and desserts has remained static and sugar levels have increased.

FSS researchers believe their evidence suggests that products have changed their recipes to include more sugar or fat products.


5. Pies, pastries and sausages

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The volume of pies and pastries purchased in Scotland dropped by almost 17% since 2010; sausage sales fell by 8%.

It has led to a drop in the amount of saturated fat and salt people in Scotland have derived from the products.


6. Crisps and savoury snacks

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Scottish households are buying slightly fewer crisps and savoury snacks than they did in 2010.

The FSS believe a "reformulation" of the products may have led to a marked reduction in saturated fats and a small reduction in salt.


7. Oil-rich fish

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People in Scotland bought 10% more oil-rich fish last year than they did in 2010.


8. Plain bread and potatoes

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The volume of plain bread purchased in Scotland has declined by 12% in the past five years, according to the FSS research

And the number of potatoes bought by the nation's households has fallen by 28% since 2010.

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