Realistic Commitment to Tackling Obesity

Realistic Commitment to Tackling Obesity

The Government published its Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan 5 years ago. Since then the high level of obesity in Scotland has continued to rise. At the time of publication, 65% of adults in Scotland had overweight and obesity, and 27% of children were at risk of overweight and obesity, as recorded in the Scottish Health Survey. This has now risen to 67% for adults and 30% for children – the highest level on record - in the most recent data. People in rural environments have less choice in access to food. We still live in an obesogenic environment and the Scottish Government have shamefully about-turned on previous commitments to address labelling and marketing of unhealthy things like alcohol; energy drinks; calorie labelling and highly processed foods. The government said at the time that 'urgent implementation' was key. That has not been evident in rural areas and has been derailed by vested industry interests. Most weight reduction programmes are focused on urban areas with access to gyms and sports facilities absent in rural areas. Despite leadership on access to appetite suppressants such as liraglutide (Saxenda) or semaglutide (Wegovy) being approved in England for patients like me, no such hope has been offered in Scotland despite lengthy waiting lists for access to alternative weight management services. The committee may wish to investigate the lack of strategic leadership on obesity in Scotland and how this is particularly detrimental in rural areas.


This needs applying to staff as well as no patient is ever likely to take the advice of an obese member of staff when they clearly don't take the advice they are giving themself!

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