Do you need to change the way you eat?

A shock survey released this week has led to questions over the diet of the Scottish people.

And a dietician in NHS Ayrshire and Arran admits there is a problem with people’s eating habits in Carrick and Ayrshire.

The poll conducted for a BBC Scotland documentary which was shown last Thursday revealed that 55% of Scots rely on takeaways or ready meals at least three times a week.

And whilst there are no hardened facts for the Carrick region, NHS Ayrshire and Arran have voiced their concerns at the findings.

Fiona Smith, a dietician with the NHS said: “There is absolutely a problem with people’s diets and eating habits in this area.

“Our role is to support people and teach them food skills so they are able to understand food and cook for themselves.”

The poll also revealed that less than a third of Scots (27%) cook for themselves every evening.

Fiona said: “It’s all about developing people’s confidence with food as a lot of them don’t know where to start with preparation and timings.

“For example, some people have never eaten a red pepper before, and ask what do you do with this, what bit do you eat etc, so we have a job to explain that to them.”

Fiona agreed that many people still believe that buying takeaway meals and putting something in the microwave is cheaper than preparing a meal from scratch.

“People definitely feel that and they like ready meals because there is little preparation. They are surprised when we show them how inexpensive it is to make a very healthy curry, pasta or stir-fry because they have never done something like this before.”

Fiona is pleased that there is more focus in schools on teaching youngsters about how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“The new curriculum for excellence teaches kids health and wellbeing and food is a big a part of that. Before kids were only getting home economics in 1st and 2nd year.”

However, Fiona admits that her team is only a very small part of the solution and called on others to take responsibility as well to halt the obesity crisis which is costing NHS Scotland £200m a year.

“We are only a tiny part of the complex web. Everyone has a role to play in improving health including food managers, producers and the media.”