Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future Scottish Innovation
Half Ton World - Documentary
2017: Obesity documentary
Children's Health Crisis
The Truth About Sugar -
Fast Food Babies
The above videos will
have set the scene so now onto the facts...
The annual cost to NHS
Scotland of overweight and obesity combined may be as much as £600
million. Average health care costs for people with a body mass index
(BMI) of 40 (severe obesity) are estimated to be at least twice those
for people with a BMI of 20 (within normal weight range).
Obesity can reduce people's overall quality of life. It creates a strain
on health services and leads to premature death due to its association
with serious chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension,
and hyperlipidaemia, which are all major risk factors for cardiovascular
disease. The two major lifestyle factors associated with the growth of
obesity are physical inactivity and poor diet.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most commonly accepted measure of general
obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing weight (measured in kilograms) by
height squared (measured in metres). Adults are classed as overweight if
their BMI is 25 to less than 30, obese if their BMI is 30 to less than
40 and morbidly obese if their BMI is 40 or more.
In 2015, 65% of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29%
who were obese. There has been an increase in the proportion who are
overweight or obese among both sexes (aged 16-64) since 1995, from 52%
to 62%. Most of this increase was seen between 1995 and 2008, with
figures remaining broadly stable since then.
In 2015, 15% children aged 2 to 15 were at risk of obesity, with a
further 13% at risk of overweight. Since 1998, the proportion of
children aged 2-15 at risk of overweight (including obesity) has
fluctuated between 29% and 33%, and was 28% in 2015.
Obesity could be
costing Scotland up to £4.6bn a year, according to a new report.
The figure came in a Scottish Parliament briefing which said the problem
was putting a "significant and growing burden" on the nation.
According to 2013 figures, almost two thirds of adults were overweight,
with 27.1% classed as being obese.
The government launched a strategy in 2010 to tackle Scotland's "obesity
The new report, produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre
(Spice), said the problem could be costing the NHS as much as £600m a
It said that, including other factors, the total annual economic cost
could be between £0.9bn and £4.6bn.
The report stated: "Although the estimates vary, the key message is that
overweight and obesity together place a significant and growing burden
on NHS Scotland and the Scottish economy as a whole."
The estimated cost was based on research by the McKinsey Global
Institute, which last year put the global economic impact of obesity at
£1.3tn, with the cost to the UK estimated at the equivalent of 3% of
The parliament report said that, taking into account the loss of
productivity due to people dying early or suffering health problems
because of their weight and adjusting the figures pro rata to Scotland's
population size, the £4.6bn figure was reached.
The Scottish government, which has previously described obesity as one
of the nation's "next big health challenges" announced plans to work
with the food industry, business and schools as part of its strategy to
tackle the problem.
So there you have the
situation currently up to the end of 2015. I'm told the 2016
figures are still much the same.
This is a combination of
eating the wrong foods and not taking enough exercise and thus the
challenge is how to address this to save us money and make us healthier.
Again it seems to me that
the problem is all down to using people to come up with recommendations
that have never lived on the minimum wage.
We need better food
education in schools and better quality school meals. We need to train
our children how to cook a minimum of 10 healthy meals by the time they
We then need to evaluate
what seven servings of fruit and veg looks like. How do you rate
servings? Again the explanation of this is clearly not aimed at
the people that are living on the minimum wage. I'll be quite
frank in saying I don't live on the minimum wage but I haven't a clue as
to how much in the way of fruit and veg I'd have to eat to meet that
target. Also much fruit has sugar and as I'm a diabetic it seems to me
this is an issue. I believe I contracted diabetes by drinking far too
many fizzy drinks both when I was young and also later in life. Of
course in my younger days diet versions were not available.
Then again we should be
commissioning chefs to come up with recipes for breakfast, lunch and
dinner that can be cooked or served up on the money available for food
from the minimum wage. They should target a family of 4 and a single
We also need to deal with
exercise in that most aren't doing any exercise and so we should be
coming up with some way to exercise that is easy to do. Even a
little exercise is better than none. Is there something we could do in
the house that would help? It just seems to me that what people
recommend isn't being done so you need to find something that at least
has a better chance of being done.
I once read an article
saying that bacon is bad for you. Well I have to tell you that I thought
that report was a total waste of time as there is no way I'm giving up
eating bacon even if I live a few years less. That is the kind of
report that our researches do that is a total waste of money and there
are far too many of these reports coming out these days. I mean to
live a few more years I'm having to cut out food I enjoy... I don't
think so otherwise life wouldn't be worth living. I do however rarely
eat sweets, cakes, etc. which I do enjoy and I do eat a healthy diet.
For example I would eat an Indian curry each week but now I'll have one
once a month. I also will now only drink diet versions of soft drinks
and take sweeteners instead of sugar.
The idea of creating an
Amma canteen system in Scotland might be a way to eat healthier and for
much less cost. It seems to me that healthier food is more expensive
food. So were we to reduce the cost of food through eating at an Amma
canteen then we'd not only be healthier but we'd have more disposable
money and so save the NHS money and at the same time improve the
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