A sample of scones produced in Northern Ireland reveals that some can be in the region of 750 calories and contain the equivalent to 10 sugar cubes.
These are the findings of a survey outlined in a report entitled ‘Nutritional Content of Scones’, produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local councils, aimed at helping consumers in Northern Ireland make informed choices about what they eat.
It is linked to the FSA’s Know Your Calories campaign which aims to educate the public on their recommended daily calorie intake and advise them where to find calorie information when shopping and eating out.
Emily Latimer, Principal Environmental Health Officer, representing the 11 district councils across Northern Ireland, explained: “In 2018, the 11 district councils sampled a variety of plain, luxury and fruit scones from local coffee shops and cafes across Northern Ireland.
“The survey found a wide range of nutritional values of scones and, not surprisingly, highlighted a correlation between larger portion sizes and increased calorie content.
“The scone with the highest fat content (22.7g fat) was a raspberry and white chocolate luxury scone, while the largest, a fruit scone, contained in region of 750kcal and 39.2g of sugar.”
Fionnuala Close, Senior Dietary Health Advisor, FSA in Northern Ireland, added: “Our role is to make people aware about the nutritional content of what they are eating so they can make choices which contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.
“Currently, 64 per cent of adults and 27 per cent of children aged 2-15 years old in Northern Ireland are classified as overweight or obese. Typically, our diets contain too much sugar, saturated fat and salt yet, at the same time, we’re not consuming enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods.
“As scones tend to be a regular favourite for many across Northern Ireland, we felt it was important to raise awareness that this common snack can contain a greater number of calories than consumers may think.
“The availability of choice, in terms of ingredients and scone size, is an important consideration for consumers and producers alike.
“FSA is committed to working with academia and industry on technical guidance that will help businesses to reformulate recipes and produce baked goods that contain reduced sugar, salt and fat and promote smaller portion sizes.
“We would encourage consumers to be aware of their recommended daily calorie intake and consider food and drink choices which help them achieve a balanced, healthy diet.
“To eat well, foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar should be eaten less often and in small amounts.”