NHS Health Scotland
Outcome Indicators


a:Reduced fat, sugar and salt content

b. Smaller portion sizes.


Decreased fat, sugar and salt content

Levels of ‘sat fats, trans fatty acids, free sugars and salt’ should be limited and safe, nutrient-dense, and encourage relatively unprocessed products [5], [6]

This may require regulations or voluntary commitments for industry


These changes are most likely to have an effect on consumers of processed and high energy food. 


Smaller portion sizes

The reduction of portion sizes of processed meals, dishes, snacks, foods and drinks may also protect against weight increase and obesity [6]

Controlling portion size is important because person may unknowingly eat larger amounts because they do not realise differences in portion sizes and or do not consume fewer calories during the rest of the day[1]

This may require regulations or voluntary commitments for industry

Most likely to have an effect on consumers of processed and high foods. 


Related actions from Route Map action plan - energy consumption (1.1, 1.2)

The Route Map encompasses a range of specific actions on energy consumption which are captured within the key themes of:

  • product reformulation

  • portion sizes

  • stocking policies

  • pricing including promotions

  • labelling & packaging

  • marketing and non-broadcast advertising;

  • and catering.

"We are working with the food and drink industry to progress a series of innovative projects action across all of these key themes.”

[Note: This action is further expanded within the Route Map in relation to the following:]
Continuing our collaboration with key food partners in Scotland to support SMEs to reformulate mainstream food and drink options and to encourage responsible use of 'healthier' as a strategic marketing tool. Reformulation of processed and prepared foods should not focus only on the premium end of the market or on food explicitly marketed as healthy options; the highest priority should be on everyday basics and products as the more affordable end of the market

Continue to work with the FSA to support the industry to reduce salt, saturated fat and sugar levels and portion sizes in their products.

Portion size
Working with producers, retailers and caterers to ensure that portion sizes served or suggested by labels better reflect consumers' energy needs.  This will include activity to standardise portion sizes in ready meals and restaurants.  In retail outlets it will also mean basing assessment of energy density on realistic quantities people actually eat in 'a portion' and the cumulative energy content of linked products marketed as meal deals.  There need be no obstacle to marketing high calorie meals, but consumers need to be informed.

 Using our financial support schemes and integrated impact assessment to provide incentives to producers and manufacturers of lower energy food and ingredients.

[Note: Although not contained within the Action Plan the Route Map makes provision for the following:]
Where voluntary approaches to reformulation, portion size adjustment and stocking policies do not achieve sufficient progress towards a healthier balance in the meals, food and drinks sold in Scotland we will consider appropriate statutory means to increase the rate of change.