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Research reveals variations in nutritional content and portion size of scones

Northern Ireland specific
Key findings of a survey reveal some scones produced in Northern Ireland can be in the region of 750 calories and contain the equivalent to ten sugar cubes.

The research, conducted by the Agency in partnership with local councils, looked at the levels of energy, sugar, fat, saturated fat, fibre, salt and portion size in an extensive range of locally produced scones sold in Northern Ireland. The survey findings, which are outlined in a report called Nutritional Content of Scones, found a wide range of nutritional values of scones and, not surprisingly, highlighted a correlation between larger portion sizes and increased calorie content.

Emily Latimer, Principal Environmental Health Officer representing the 11 district councils, explains:

“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 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 of the nutritional content of what they’re eating so they can make choices which contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.

“Currently, 64% of adults and 27% 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. As scones tend to be a regular favourite for many households in Northern Ireland, it is important to know what calories are in larger scones and to choose smaller portions, when available.”

This survey is part of our wider Know Your Calories campaign which aims to inform the public of their recommended daily calorie intake and advise where to find calorie information when shopping and eating out. To maintain a healthy, balanced diet, a man needs around 2,500kcal per day and a woman needs around 2,000kcal per day.

View the research project page.