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Strategy to tackle Scotland's obesity timebomb

Four in ten Scots will be obese by 2030

OnMedica Staff

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Scottish government has pledged to work with the food industry, business and schools to tackle Scotland’s obesity timebomb.

The strategy was launched as a report suggested that 40% of the population would be obese by 2030 and that the problem would cost Scotland £3bn a year. Obesity currently costs Scotland £457m per year.

The strategy acknowledges that in today’s society weight gain is almost inevitable and unveils ambitious plans to work across every area of government to make healthy choices easier.

This includes working with retailers, producers and the food industry to control exposure to, demand for and consumption of high calorie foods and drinks; working with schools to continue encouraging young people to take up healthy habits; working with businesses to encourage their employees to eat healthily and be more active; and using planning legislation to increase opportunities for walking, cycling and other physical activity in our daily lives.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: "Obesity is a huge threat to Scotland's future and we are committed to tackling this. No country in the world has successfully addressed obesity - and we want Scotland to be the first. We cannot expect people to be able to change their behaviour alone as the environment we live in today means that for most people weight gain becomes almost inevitable.”

Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish general practitioners committee, said: “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.”

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