Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton today said investment in healthy living is needed after a new Scottish Government report revealed only 11% of 10 and 11-year-olds do enough exercise every day.
The Scottish Government study, published today, objectively measured children’s activity using monitors. It also found children are on average “sedentary” for more than seven hours every day.
It is the latest in a string of evidence that Scotland is slowly ticking towards an obesity time bomb. One in five children starting primary school is at risk of being overweight or obese. In January, it was revealed 28% of children living in poverty are overweight or obese.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"Healthy eating and lifestyle choices start in childhood. These new statistics confirm the need for children to be spending less time vegetating and more time exercising outside despite the ropey Scottish weather.
" The strain on our waist line creates a strain on our NHS. We already spend hundreds of millions of pounds every year treating conditions that are ultimately avoidable. Weight related conditions like heart disease and cancer put huge strain on our NHS. Unless we take action now our NHS faces an obesity time bomb that will only increase pressure on services.
“We need to ensure that parents get the support they need to give their children a healthy start in life. Scottish Liberal Democrats would invest in sport and promote healthy lifestyles as well as extend the rights of GPs to social prescribing, including free access to exercise programmes if they judge it will help the health and well being of an individual.”