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SNP Reverses Course on Crackdown on Porridge Promotion

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SNP Ministers have abruptly changed their minds about adding porridge in the proposed restrictions on food promotion in response to strong public criticism. Following an exposé by The Scottish Express, social media was incensed to learn that one of the meals targeted in a crackdown on food marketing was porridge.

When the Scottish Government’s consultation included porridge among the products it was considering, it created a stir. Originally, the consultation recommended limitations on a range of food promotions, such as meal deals and multi-buys. Renowned for its health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and helping people control their weight, porridge received a lot of support online. Many people expressed surprise that it was included in the proposed crackdown.

In response to growing demand, SNP representatives made it clear that “plain porridge oats” would not be restricted in their promotion, highlighting their standing as a nutritious option for breakfast. Tess White, MSP, the deputy health spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives, questioned the SNP’s initial position and emphasized the irony of criticizing a well-known Scottish product in the name of public health.

The Scottish Government responded to the controversy with a statement that reaffirmed its support for healthy living and guaranteed that foods that are not heavy in fat, salt, or sugar—such as plain porridge oats—would not be subject to promotion limitations. The public is still being invited to participate in the consultation, which aims to reduce the promotion of foods heavy in fat, sugar, and salt.

Despite the recent dispute about its promotion, porridge—a staple cuisine with deep origins in Scottish culture—remains a popular and celebrated dish.

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