Page last updated at 00:32 GMT, Sunday, 29 November 2009

Figures show Scotland's 'obesity epidemic'

The Tories called for a complete change of culture to tackle obesity

Figures suggesting two-thirds of men and more than half of women in Scotland are overweight have been branded "appalling".

The data from 2008 was disclosed by Public Health Minister Shona Robison in answer to Tory parliamentary questions.

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw said the statistics disclosed the true scale of "Scotland's obesity epidemic".

Ms Robison said £56m was being spent on healthy eating and active living projects.

The health figures suggested 66.3% of men aged 16 to 64 and 59.6% of women in the same age range were overweight.

This problem did not appear overnight, nor will it disappear overnight
Jackson Carlaw
Conservative public health spokesman

About a quarter of both sexes were classed as being obese, with 24.9% of men and 26.5% of women falling into this category.

And 1.4% of men and 3.5% of women were so overweight that they were morbidly obese.

Figures for children aged between two and 15 showed that more than a third of boys and a quarter of girls weighed too much.

Mr Carlaw, the Conservative public health spokesman, said: "This problem did not appear overnight, nor will it disappear overnight. We need a complete change of culture."

He also called for more child health visitors to help tackle the problem.

He added: "Scotland needs a health service that encourages a greater degree of personal responsibility than the one we have at present. More health visitors are an ideal way of helping address that challenge."

Ms Robison said the Scottish government recognised obesity was an increasing problem that posed a serious threat to the nation's health.

She added: "This is why we are making tackling the problem a high priority. We have a range of initiatives under way to support those who are overweight and obese and to help people from becoming overweight in the first place."

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