Obesity Action Scotland have published a new report that will support the work of local authorities and health boards across Scotland as they take forward Whole System Approaches to Diet and Healthy weight.

The levers to change our food system exist at local and national level. Actions across the whole system will be required to deliver healthy weight for all in Scotland.

Local levers for diet and healthy weight are actions available at the local level – for local authorities, health boards and schools, as well as the private and third sectors – to support community health by ensuring everyone can get affordable, healthy food and drink, and integrate safe and enjoyable physical activity into their daily lives.

This report has reviewed the evidence and recommends seven measures which can be utilised as part of a place-based approach to addressing diet and healthy weight.

The seven local levers for diet and healthy weight in Scotland are:

1. Restrict food marketing
2. Utilise planning to improve food environments
3. Strengthen public food procurement and provision standards
4. Work with the out of home sector to reduce calories on the menu
5. Improve up take of school meals
6. Promote and support physical activity
7. Protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and healthy diets for children.

It further supports moves to work with the out of home sector to reduce calories on menus, promote and support physical activity, protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and healthy diets for children, and improve uptake of school meals.

On launching this report Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead said:

” We are delighted to launch this report, written in conjunction with University of Edinburgh.  It offers clear actions that can be progressed at a local level.  Together we can all shape our food and physical activity environments to support healthy weight and protect and improve the health of the Scottish people.”

The author Prof Lindsay Jaacks of University of Edinburgh said:

“It is possible to halt the rise in obesity in Scotland and achieve a healthy weight for all. None of the local levers alone will have a huge impact, but with continued evaluation and improvement, together they can.”