Nicola really is a witch! She put a curse on me and Alex and now we can’t think of anything original.

This week Alex Cole-Hamilton asked the Scottish Government, in light of the introduction of a UK Government Bill to restrict the serving of foods high in fat, salt or sugar in schools by 2022, whether it has considered introducing a similar target. (S5W-24823)

John Swinney:

Our school meal uptake is higher now than when current Scottish school food regulations were first introduced in 2008 and we are leading the way by becoming the first part of the UK to set a maximum amount of sugar and processed red meat that can be made available during the course of the school day. The current regulations already include strict upper limits in relation to sugar and school caterers must plan their menus in a manner which prevents children and young people from consuming excessive amounts of sugar, fat, or salt over the course of the school week. We will be amending the regulations further to make school meals even healthier and more closely aligned with the Scottish Dietary Goals. The improvements to school food and drink are a key part of our commitment to strengthening children and young people’s healthy eating habits and halving childhood obesity by 2030.

So that’s clear. The SNP Government is on this and ahead of the game in England but thanks Alex, for nothing.

Previously, on August 29th, Alex Cole-Hamilton asked the Scottish Government whether it plans to introduce the National Child Measurement Programme in Scotland, which was introduced in England in 2005, in order to tackle childhood obesity? Of course, he was well behind the curve. See this from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reported in the Independent on 26th May 2018:

‘Under current trends it is predicted that 11 per cent of the population in Wales will be morbidly obese in 2035, roughly 340,000 adults, while Scotland is likely to plateau at about 5 per cent and England will rise to about 8 per cent.’

The researchers offered a surprisingly clear, confident and simple explanation for the significantly slower growth in Scotland – Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation:

‘The government put a massive push on developing a route map for how we can actually combat this. They put together resources from the NHS that were proving to be effective. They did put a lot of work into it.’

And as recently as March 2019, Tavish Scott suggested we copy another FAILED English scheme on student teacher recruitment. How good is the English system? It’s not good at all. They missed all their targets and entrant numbers fell by 500.

They just love the idea that wee Scotland might benefit from better ideas coming across the border but they’re always out of touch and wrong.