Burger obesity

Children living in Scotland’s most deprived areas  are increasingly likely to be obese

Poor children are increasingly likely to be obese, unlike those in affluent areas, according to a new report by NHS Scotland.

The report Obesity in Scotland: A Persistent Inequality found the risk of becoming obese for all ages was 7% in the most affluent areas, but nearly double that at 13% for the least wealthy areas of the country.

NHS Health Scotland found that 29% of women and 28% of men aged 18 to 64 in Scotland were obese.

But it said children living in Scotland’s most deprived communities were more likely to be in the category, and “actions to reduce the ‘obesogenic’ environment were urgently needed if the long-term health, social and inequality consequences of obesity were to be reduced.”

Responding to the report, Heather Pearce, Food Standards Scotland’s head of nutrition science and policy, said: “It is particularly concerning to see the widening gaps between the richest and the poorest in our society in terms of obesity, and that overall levels of overweight - including obesity - have increased from 40% in men and 31% in women in 1995, to 66% in men and 60% in women in 2015.

“This report adds to the mounting body of evidence showing that little progress has been made towards improving the Scottish diet for the last 20 years.

“We have recommended a package of actions to tackle obesity in Scotland, which includes the regulation of promotions on unhealthy food and drinks, reformulation of food and drink to reduce the amount of calories, fats and sugars in the food we buy, as well as calorie information for consumers when they’re eating outside of the home.”