NHS Scotland spends almost £1bn annually on diabetes, 80% goes on managing avoidable complications. As a result of this, managing diabetes accounts for around 10% of the annual NHS Scotland budget.
Diabetes is the fastest growing health threat of our time and a critical public health matter. The number of people living with diabetes is rising each year and since 2008 there has been a 25% increase in the number of Scots with the condition.
As any diabetic knows, counting carbohydrates is a challenge made all the more difficult by food producers and food outlets not providing accurate, if any, nutritional information about the food they serve.
Diabetes is a serious condition but people can live long healthy lives if it is managed well. Supported self-management is the key to successful day-to-day diabetes management.
Access to information helps diabetics to make informed choices in their diabetes self-management. Therefore, the more access to nutritional information by food producers and servers, the more likely better healthier choices can be made.
All food must have nutritional information made available either on display (e.g. as a poster), on paper (e.g. as a leaflet) or accessible online on the retail premises (through using information display screens) which sets out the nutritional value of the food available especially carbohydrate values including sugar content.
Slow the increase in diabetes, improve the self-management of diabetics, reduce overall cost of diabetes to NHS in medium to long term – most importantly get everyone thinking about the nutritional value of what they eat and improve health outcomes for all.