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Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future
Scottish Innovation Party

Half Ton World - Documentary

2017: Obesity documentary Children's Health Crisis

The Truth About Sugar - BBC Documentary

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 time bomb".

The new report, produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice), said the problem could be costing the NHS as much as 600m a year.

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 GDP.

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 leave school.

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 person.

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 economy. 

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