From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

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Results from the Scottish Health Survey 2011 (funded by the Scottish Government) have been published in the seventh report in the series, now conducted annually.

Scottish diet and obesity updates - the Scottish Health Survey 2011

posted on: Sep 25, 2012

Scottish diet and obesity updates – the Scottish Health Survey 2011

Results from the Scottish Health Survey 2011 (funded by the Scottish Government) have been published in the seventh report in the series, now conducted annually. Dr Linsay Gray and Prof Alastair Leyland from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit authored chapters on children’s diet, and child and adult obesity.
 
The main findings are:
 
 
Children’s diet
  • The mean number of portions of fruit and vegetables consumed per day in 2011 was 2.7 for boys and 2.8 for girls aged 2-15.
  • The highest number of portions was consumed by children aged 2-4 and the lowest by those aged 13-15.
  • 13% of children aged 2-15 met the recommended daily intake of five or more portions of fruit and vegetables, whereas 9% consumed none.
  • Fruit and vegetable consumption in children was positively associated with consumption in their parents.
  • While fruit and vegetable consumption among children has changed little since 2003, general eating habits have shown improvement since 2003, with increases in the consumption of oily fish, white fish, high fibre bread and skimmed/semi-skimmed milk and decreases in meat products, sweets or chocolates, biscuits, ice-cream, non-diet soft drinks, crisps, and chips. There have been slight decreases in consumption of tuna fish and increases in cake intake.
 
Child obesity
  • In 2011, 65% of boys and 70% of girls aged 2-15 had a healthy weight. 33% of boys and 28% of girls were overweight or obese; 18% of boys and 14% of girls were obese.
  • Healthy weight prevalence was generally highest in the early years (ages 2-7). Boys aged 10-11 and girls aged 12-13 had the highest prevalence of overweight or obesity (42% and 33%, respectively).
  • Children of parents who are either a healthy weight or underweight are less likely to be overweight or obese than children of obese parents (21% compared with 40%).
  • Children in the most deprived areas were more likely to be obese than those in the least deprived areas.
 
Adult obesity
  • In 2011, 28% of all adults aged 16 and over were obese BMI of 30 kg/m2 and over; 69% of men and 60% of women were overweight (BMI of 25 kg/m2 and over). 
  • Since 1995, the proportion of adults aged 16-64 who were overweight or obese increased from 52% to 62% in 2011. Over this same period the prevalence of obesity among this age group increased from 17% to 27%. Increases were greatest before 2008 with figures remaining broadly stable since then.
  • In the 2010/2011 period, men’s mean waist circumference was 96.3cm and the mean for women was 89.0cm. Women were significantly more likely than men to have a raised waist circumference (49% compared with 32%).
  • Based on both their BMI and waist circumference, women were more likely than men to be at a high risk of disease (45% compared with 34%).
 
A summary of the main findings can be found here.
 
The Scottish Health Survey is a designated National Statistics product. This means that the statistics are deemed to be compliant with the Code of Practice on Official Statistics, produced according to sound methods and managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.