About this study
Our survey found that
- Children are eating more than the recommended levels of non-milk extrinsic sugars, total fat and saturated fatty acids.
- Children living in more deprived areas are consuming more non-diet soft drinks and less fruit and vegetables than those living elsewhere.
16% of primary and 42% of secondary school children purchase food or drink on their way to or from school.
97% of children had access to places selling food or drinks
of school at lunchtime and 73% had access at break times.
6 in 10 children, purchase food or drinks outside of school at lunch time and 2 in 10 do so during break times.
Children living in more deprived areas were more likely than those living elsewhere to purchase food or drinks on their way to or from school and outside of school during lunchtime.
Potential policy impact
Work on reducing the intake of foods highlighted in the Scottish Government's Obesity Route Map Action Plan should continue.
Inequalities in diet, sedentary activity and obesity between children in less versus more deprived areas continues to need to be addressed.
Obesity prevalence is high and dietary targets have not been met, so the survey provides timely and unique information about food purchasing 'beyond the school gate'. The findings can help shape and support future policy efforts to improve the dietary choices of Scotland's school children.
Children aged between 3 and 16 were recruited using the Child
Benefit records held by HM Revenue and Customs. Diet and purchase
behaviour was assessed via a food frequency questionnaire and a
food purchasing questionnare. The interview also included
measurements of height, weight and waist circumference.
Additional information will be gathered from 8-16 year olds, exploring the influences on children and young people's food choices and eating habits outside school.