11 December 2018

More children from Scotland’s most deprived communities are at risk of being obese, according to new figures.

Despite the number of obese children remaining relatively constant overall, the gap between the most and least deprived areas has grown with a fall in childhood obesity among the least deprived communities since 2000/01 and a rise in obesity in the most deprived over the same period.

In 2017/18, 26.2% of the Primary 1 children measured from the most deprived area were at risk of either being obese or overweight.

Scottish Labour said the change showed the need to properly tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Monica Lennon MSP said:

“Failing to tackle childhood obesity will inflict a health crisis on a whole generation. Young people in the poorest families can’t be left behind because the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in later life are increasing by the day.

“Scotland needs radical action to tackle poverty and preventable health inequalities.

"Children and young people deserve hope and a chance at childhood.

"The Scottish Government has failed to take bold action and has subjected local services to austerity; young people’s lives chances are suffering as a result.

"Increasing child benefit would help families with the cost of healthy food and taking part in sport. SNP Ministers have been warned that fast food takeaways near schools and in deprived communities are contributing to this childhood obesity time-bomb.

"It’s time they acted.”

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