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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 14:25 GMT
Recipe for a healthier Scotland
Food advert
An advertising campaign has been launched
The recipe for a healthier Scottish population has been outlined in a new high-profile campaign.

First Minister Jack McConnell has urged Scots to welcome in the New Year by heeding calls to "change their diet, change their lives and help change Scotland".

Mr McConnell was launching the new Scottish Executive-backed Healthy Eating Campaign at a Paisley cafe.

The initiative is the latest in a series of drives to end Scotland's record as one of Europe's unhealthiest countries.

Nick Nairn
Nick Nairn is lending his support
The first minister said: "Healthy eating is the start of healthy living and we must step up our attack on this country's poor diet.

"Improving our diet will not only allow us to live longer and more happily, it will also increase productivity, create a better society and enhance Scotland's reputation.

"We have been unhealthy for too long. I want the healthy choices facing Scots to be the easy choices."

The first minister said this entailed introducing a programme of education, better food in hospitals and schools and an improvement in food standards in the industry and the community as a whole.

Mr McConnell added that he has taken on a role as one of the campaign's "food champions".

The campaign also has the backing of Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Mac Armstrong, Sunday Herald Editor, Andrew Jaspan, celebrity chef, Nick Nairn and Jim Walker, President of the National Farmers Union in Scotland.

'Poor understanding'

An advertising campaign has been launched and advice on healthy eating is also available to the public via a special helpline and a website, healthylivingscotland.gov.uk.

Food and Health Co-ordinator, Gillian Kynoch, has spent 18 months working on the campaign and has been joined by 14 more "food champions" who will promote the campaign.

She said: "Research undertaken by the Health Education Board for Scotland shows 80% of Scots have tried to change their diet in the past year and were aware of the basic healthy eating messages.

"However, it also found most people have poor understanding of how to apply them."

Flora McLean, Director of Scottish Food and Drink Federation said: "The Scottish food and drink manufacturing industry welcomes any addition to the range of healthy lifestyle information already available to consumers from manufacturers, retailers and health professionals, to help them enjoy a healthy diet."

The helpline number is 0845 278 8878.

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  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Eleanor Bradford
"Research shows we want to change our diet"
See also:

04 Jan 03 | Health
03 Dec 02 | Health
07 Nov 02 | Scotland
04 Dec 01 | Scotland
06 Aug 01 | Health
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