Cole-Hamilton: Survey is worrying diagnosis of Scotland's health

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said the SNP Government needs to step up efforts to improve Scotland's health after new statistics revealed a "worrying diagnosis".

Statistics published today showed:

  • Scotland's life expectancy has fallen by 0.1 for both males and females - the first time it has decreased for both sexes in the past 35 years;
  • Two thirds of adults are overweight or obese;
  • A third of men drink to levels described as hazardous or harmful;
  • 10% of adults won't consume any fruit or vegetables over the course of a day;
  • 21% of young people (aged 16-24) reported that they had ever self-harmed;
  • 20% of people in the most deprived areas had two or more depressive symptoms, compared to 5% in the least deprived areas;

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:

"This is a worrying diagnosis of the state of Scotland's health. Ingrained unhealthy lifestyle choices are having a devastating impact on our physical wellbeing and causing an obesity epidemic. Meanwhile, mental ill health is at crisis levels.

"Life expectancy falling for both sexes, for the first time in 35 years, should ring alarm bells at the very top of government.

"These figures show the urgent need to make a transformative investment in mental health and for public health interventions on the scale of the smoking ban introduced 12 years ago, this time focusing on Scotland's poor diet and lack of activity."

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