Cole-Hamilton: Act early to tackle overweight children

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today said that more needs to be done to tackle unhealthy lifestyles early in life as a new report showed that a third of children in Scotland are overweight by age 10, but almost 90% of parents perceive them to be normal weight.

The report, Growing Up in Scotland: Overweight and Obesity at Age 10, shows that by age 10, 34% of children were overweight and 19% were obese. 35% of parents whose children were obese and 88% of those whose children were overweight perceived them to be of normal weight.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“This report shows huge issues with Scotland's poor diet and lack of activity. 

“A healthy lifestyle picked up in childhood can have a lifelong impact but we are seeing an entire generation who are missing out on vital lessons. Early intervention to tackle unhealthy lifestyles could have huge benefits for our overburdened NHS and our nation’s waistline.

“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 wellbeing of an individual.”

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