P1 pupils from deprived backgrounds twice as likely to be obese

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the Scottish Government to do more to help those from deprived backgrounds make healthy decisions, after new statistics published today show that children from the most deprived backgrounds are more than twice as likely to be “at risk of obesity” compared to those from the least deprived backgrounds.

Official figures reveal that 13.7% of the ‘most deprived’ primary ones are at risk of obesity (BMI>=95th), compared to 6.5% of the ‘least deprived’ primary ones.

The gap between the most and least deprived in terms of obesity is widening.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“Obesity not only negatively affects people’s quality of life; it also puts a huge strain on the NHS.

“Your background should not dictate your wellbeing, but these statistics show that since the SNP came into power that has increasingly become the case.

“Fostering healthy habits at a young age has real long-term benefits for families and our health service across their lifetime. We need to ensure that every parent in Scotland has access to the support and information they need to give their child a healthy start in life.

Scottish Liberal Democrats would invest in sport, support people to make informed choices and dodge junk food, as well as extend the rights of GPs to social prescribing, including free access to exercise programmes if they judge it will help a person’s health and wellbeing.”

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