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Hume: health of the nation report shows strain obesity puts on NHS

January 20, 2016 4:08 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP today warned that Scotland's battle with the bulge could leave health services dangerously overstretched as a new report highlighted an increase in the proportion of Scots who are overweight or obese.

In her analysis of the health of the nation, the Chief Medical Officer's annual report highlighted that 65% of adults in Scotland are now overweight or obese. 28% of people are obese, with a body mass index higher than 30.

Around one in six (17%) children were reported as being at risk of obesity, with a further 14% at risk of becoming overweight. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of adults aged 16 to 64 categorised as obese, from 17% in 1995 to 27% in 2014.

Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:

"This report from the Chief Medical Officer highlight the strain that Scotland's battle with the bulge is putting on frontline NHS services. We know that obesity is associated with a range of complex and challenging health conditions, including diabetes, a range of cancers and mental health issues. Treating these problems is far more challenging and expensive than preventing them in the first place.

"The hard facts are that Scotland has been putting on weight for years and there is no sign of this trend reversing. Nearly one third of Scots are obese.

"Tackling Scotland's weight problem must be a priority for the government. Food Standards Scotland has reported that there was little progress towards improving the nation's diet between 2001 and 2012.

"We all want to see people in Scotland live longer, healthy lives but progress has stalled. It is time we looked seriously at new ideas that will help encourage people to eat healthily."