Health boards get 1.7m to cut child obesity

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rates of obesity differ between the wealthiest and poorest areas of Scotland

Health boards in Scotland are to be given a share of £1.7m to help them cut childhood obesity levels.

The Scottish government cash is part of a plan to halve the number of overweight under-18s by 2030.

The money will go towards ensuring equal access to services across the country.

It is a reaction to growing inequality in the levels of obesity between children in the wealthiest and poorest areas of Scotland.

The government believes the investment will help health boards meet new standards set by NHS Health Scotland.

Weight management

It has said it wants to ensure that children in all areas have equal access to help in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “We want children and families to have access to the appropriate support to achieve as healthy a weight as possible, no matter where they live.

“We are committed to supporting local partners across health and local government to develop ambitious and effective plans to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. Weight management services will be a vital component of effective action.”

Suzanne Connolly, senior health improvement officer at NHS Health Scotland, said: “We all have a responsibility to work together to help people in Scotland to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

“There is growing inequality in the prevalence of obesity between children in our wealthiest and poorest areas, and we have to address it.”

Image copyright World Obesity Federation
Image caption The Scottish government wants equal access to weight management services in all areas

She added: “The standards published by NHS Health Scotland are designed to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland will receive the same high-quality weight management support, informed by the best evidence available and good practice.”

The funding announcement comes just days after Cancer Research UK revealed that there were nearly 50% more obese people in Scotland than smokers.

It said smoking was the biggest preventable cause of the disease but obesity was the leading cause of four types of cancer.

The charity launched a new UK-wide campaign to raise awareness of the links between obesity and cancer and called on ministers to restrict junk food multi-buy price promotions.

Analysis of official figures by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) estimates there are around 1,270,000 obese adults in Scotland – 29% of the adult population.

It says that is almost 50% more than the number of smokers living north of the border (798,000).

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48894117

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