RCPCH responds to latest obesity statistics for Scotland

Community health and wellbeing must be at the 'heart' of local planning proposals to reverse childhood obesity says RCPCH's Dr Donald Macgregor

There has been no progress in the fight to reduce obesity levels in Scotland, reveal latest figures.

Statistics published today by Scottish Government showed:

  • in 2017, 26% of children were at risk of overweight, including 13% at risk of obesity
  • at the end of 2016, there were 257,728 people recorded as having Type 2 diabetes, with prevalence continuing to increase steadily
  • in 2017, 65% of adults aged 16 and over met the current moderate/vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guideline. There has been no significant change to this proportion since 2012

In response to the latest obesity statistics for Scotland, Dr Donald Macgregor of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“As these statistics show, obesity is not a problem that is going to go away. It is a serious condition which causes a catalogue of health issues that has the potential to blight life from childhood, well into adulthood.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published its Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan and made a series of very welcome proposals with a view to halve childhood obesity by 2030. These proposals included consultations on restricting the promotion and marketing of unhealthy food and drink and an “out of home" strategy to encourage food outlets to provide calorie information to customers. However, to give Scottish Government the best chance of meeting its ambitious obesity reduction target, it must introduce nutrition standards on all menus in hospitals and schools, as guidance alone is not enough. It must also work with local councils to provide planning support, to ensure any new development has its community’s health and wellbeing at its heart.”

You can view the statistics in Scottish Government's Obesity Indicators Progress Report - October 2018.