Eating Out, Changing the Game
As trends shift and lifestyles evolve, we are increasingly becoming a nation of people who consume food prepared out of home (OOH). This may be in a sit-in restaurant, a drive-through burger bar, a fast-food takeaway, a sandwich shop, a coffee shop or delivered.
In the last 10 years there has been a 53% increase in places to eat out of home and in 2015 alone there were 948 million visits to out of home establishments in Scotland – up 3% on the previous year.
Across the UK we eat between 20-25% of our total calories out of home and adults who eat takeaway meals at home at least once per week consume 63 to 87 kcal more per day. In children, a weekly consumption of takeaway food was associated with consuming 55-168 kcal more per day.
As the tendency to eat out of home becomes the norm, we need to change the rules on OOH as it is a potential game changer in our collective efforts to reduce obesity levels across Scotland.
Changing the Rules, Changing the Game
The OOH sector could do more to create a healthier, less obesogenic way of providing good and affordable food, as well as treats and an occasional indulgence. There are a number of ways the OOH sector can become healthier than it currently is, while continuing to do what it does best – offering tasty food with convenience.
We are expecting a consultation from Food Standards Scotland in autumn 2018 on an Out of Home Strategy. Here are the actions Obesity Action Scotland believes are needed in the out of home sector: