04/09/2008

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.
News Image
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.

(BMcC/KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 May 2004
'Devastating threat' of obesity must be tackled, says report
With three-quarters of the UK's adult population now overweight or obese, a comprehensive raft of measures are needed to combat the "devastating threat" to the nation’s health posed by obesity, the Commons health committee has said.
04 May 2006
Health staff encouraged to help patients lose weight
The government has unveiled a number of new practical tools for GPs and other health professionals to help patients lose weight and improve their health. For the first time, GPs and other healthcare workers are being given specific tools to help identify and treat children, young people and adults who are overweight or obese.
08 October 2003
Parents must help in reducing child obesity, says report
Parents are being enlisted as the first line of defence against obesity in children after a report today revealed that nearly 10% of Britain's six-year-olds are overweight.
29 April 2005
Figures reveal increasing childhood obesity worry
The latest batch of figures published by the Department of Health have revealed that the prevalence of obesity among children is rising. In those aged between two and ten obesity has risen from 9.9% in 1995 to 13.7% in 2003, but children aged between eight and ten showed the biggest increase, with a rise from 11.2% to 16.5% over the same period.
28 February 2006
Government's child obesity target 'may not be met'
The government's target to halt the rise of child obesity by 2010 may not be met unless there is "clearer leadership", a report has warned. The incidence of childhood obesity increased from 9.6% in 1995 to 13.7% in 2003.