Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 12:05 UK

Health experts target young Scots

Measuring tape round large waist
A third of Scottish children are overweight

A Canadian health expert brought in to help tackle Scotland's poor health record has said he will concentrate his efforts on the young.

Professor John Frank is to head a consortium of public health experts tasked with creating strategies to fight Scotland's biggest problems.

Key targets are alcohol and drug abuse, violence and obesity. A third of Scottish children are overweight.

Professor Frank said what was needed was "to change the culture".

He added: "You can't tackle the impending obesity pandemic simply by classifying a third of the child population as patients.

"Unfortunately, we can't simply go to the bookshelf and find a recipe that might work for Scotland. We need to come up with home-grown and home-tested solutions."

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy has a budget of 3.5m for the first five years, provided by the Medical Research Council and the chief scientist office of the Scottish Government Health Directorate.

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