Obesity Plan Presented

Leading Scottish medical professionals have put forward a five point plan to tackle the growing problem of obesity.

In advance of a debate on obesity in the Scottish Parliament today, BMA Scotland has called on politicians to take action on childhood obesity.

In a briefing paper sent to MSPs, the BMA outlined its plan for tackling childhood obesity in Scotland and has included the long term health consequences of obesity and called on Ministers to take a cross-governmental approach to address soaring levels of obesity in local children.

They said that, in 2006/07, one in five (21.0%) of Primary 1 school children were overweight, including 8.5% who were obese and 4.3% who were severely obese. The highest levels of overweight, obese and severely obese children were found in the most deprived areas.
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Dr Dean Marshall, Chairman of the BMA's Scottish General Practitioners Committee, said: "Childhood obesity rates in Scotland are worryingly high. The Government's action plan provides little detail on real actions that will reverse this trend. It is time for the government to take tough action.

"Obesity is a very serious issue that can lead to a number of life-threatening health problems. We are in danger of raising a generation of children burdened with long term chronic health conditions.

"Doctors have a role to play in supporting overweight patients and talking about the dangers of obesity but there is a limit to what they can do. The BMA has been lobbying the government for some time to take real action on this issue in order to achieve a real improvement in the future health of our children," he said.

In Scotland, over 40 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes, and most of these cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked with obesity.

Increasing rates in childhood obesity will also lead to more future cases of heart disease, osteoarthritis and some cancers.

UK wide, the health service spends at least £2 billion every year on treating ill health caused by poor diet.


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