Scottish GPs demand compulsory nutritional education in schools

LMCs in Scotland have called for nutritional education to be made a compulsory part of the national curriculum in schools.

Dr John Ip: simplified food labelling needed (Photograph: Douglas Robertson)
Dr John Ip: simplified food labelling needed (Photograph: Douglas Robertson)

The Scottish LMCs conference in Glasgow yesterday also passed a motion calling for food labelling to clearly indicate the ‘potential health impact of all foodstuffs’.

Glasgow GP Dr John Ip, who proposed both motions, said people are confused by the complexity of information on food packaging and called for it to be simplified.  

He told the conference: ‘The direct cost of obesity to the NHS is estimated at £4bn. People are overwhelmed by the complexity of information that is available on food. Labelling needs to be clear to allow people the opportunity to make informed decisions about what they eat. Obesity has become a public health priority and the government needs to act now to tackle it.’

Chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GPC Dr Dean Marshall said: ‘Obesity is a very serious issue that can lead to a number of life-threatening health problems. Doctors have a role to play in supporting overweight patients and talking about the dangers of obesity but there is a limit to what we can do. The small measures proposed to today would encourage people to make healthy choices and achieve a real improvement in the future health of our children.’

The conference also carried a motion welcoming the Scottish government’s reintroduction of the Minimum Price Alcohol Bill to the Scottish parliament and urged the rest of the UK to follow.

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