Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Sunday, 22 June 2008 12:39 UK

Extra 40m to deal with obesity

man standing on weighing scales
The Scottish Government says more needs to be done to combat obesity

A wide-ranging action plan to tackle Scotland's problems of obesity and poor diet has been unveiled by ministers.

Over the next three years an extra 40m will be used to boost physical activity and healthy eating.

It is planned that the initiatives will be tailored to suit different lifestyles, from children to adults.

Almost half of the new resources will be used to improve the nutrition of women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children under five.

For children and young adults at school, sports, dance, walking and healthy cooking projects will be opened up to encourage them to be healthy and active.

Healthy choices

Minister for Public Health Shona Robison said: "Obesity is one of the problems that, like climate change, does not have a simple solution and requires a new way of thinking.

"If we successfully tackle obesity then we will reduce ill-health, and a healthier Scotland is vital for sustaining and growing our economy and securing our communities as vibrant places to live.

"This is about providing people with more opportunity to take control of their own health.

"The Scottish Government is clear that people need to be supported in order to make their own healthy choices and this action plan gives Scotland the framework for doing so."

The action plan will also target working adults, through schemes such as the development of interactive tools which can help employees keep track of what they eat and what calories they burn.

Walking and jogging schemes will be expanded to benefit local communities.

And for elderly people, new nutritional standards will be developed to benefit those in care settings.

The Scottish Government aims to publish guidance for health boards on locally delivered healthy weight strategies by the end of this year.

It also plans to develop a longer-term strategy to tackle obesity.

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