Scotland’s obesity problem continues to grow as cost to NHS soars

Oct 25 2011

MORE than a quarter of adults in Scotland are obese, according to a report published today. And it’s a problem which is costing the health service over s450 million each year.
The Scottish Health Survey has revealed that 27 per cent of Scots aged 16-64 were obese in 2010, continuing the upward trend from just 17 per cent in 1995.
Meanwhile, around 65 per cent of adults are measured as overweight or obese.
The survey, produced for the Scottish Government, said it was predicted that obesity rates could reach 40 per cent by 2030, with the cost to the NHS rising to over s3 billion. Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as type two diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and cancer.
It has also been linked to health problems, such as stroke, liver and gall bladder disease, respiratory problems, sleep disturbance and mental illnesses.
The survey follows the launch of the Government’s action plan to tackle obesity in March this year.
It also comes after the publication last month of a comprehensive health study of thousands of people.
The report, published by the Scottish Government, highlighted poor diet as a leading problem among Scots.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Our action plan published earlier this year sets out actions being taken to change the environment in which we live to make it easier for everyone to make healthy choices, including eating more fruit and vegetables and less salt, fat and added sugar and becoming more active.
“We have introduced a range of measures to improve diet and are spending over s7.5 million in the next three years on projects to encourage healthy eating. ”
As part of this we are working closely with the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers and the hospitality sector to reduce the saturated fat content of products and build on the positive steps they have been making over the last few years on the promotion of healthier, less energy dense food.
“Discussions are already under way in Scotland, through our Food Implementation Group, exploring specific calorie reduction pathways with the food industry.
“The approaches we are developing are synergistic with the new calorie reduction commitment in England and would help the industry to achieve the challenges being set out in the Responsibility Deal.”


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