The conclusion of Obesity Action Scotland on progress on tackling obesity and overweight in the six years since the launch of the Obesity Route Map (ORM) has been published today in a Report Card “Obesity in Scotland Six Years Later”
This is the question we posed at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on Friday 22nd April.
Obesity is one of the biggest public health threats we face in Scotland. The scale of the problem has reached crisis and its effects are felt across all areas of our society and economy. Yet, despite the best efforts of many, overall obesity levels continue to rise.
So perhaps it’s time to pool skills and expertise to turn around the direction we are taking as a country; to get started by looking for examples of success in other areas of public health; to explore how others have achieved their goals and to seek out new approaches?
The obvious starting point is the long-running and hugely successful campaign on smoking in Scotland. In 2016 Scotland celebrates 10 years of being smoke-free in public places. This is a tremendous success and is, in large part, down to the success of collaborations. Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, will be providing her insight into how an alliance has helped the campaign on tackling tobacco use.
So what opportunities could be opened up by creating an ‘obesity alliance’ for Scotland? What benefits could it create? Is there a desire for such a collaborative approach? These are some of the questions we will be exploring today.
We are excited to be looking at new approaches to tackling obesity in Scotland and will be sharing outcomes and next steps from today’s event over the coming few weeks.
“Collaborative advantage can achieve higher level objectives for society as a whole." Chris Huxham, Emeritus Professor, Strathclyde Business School
New figures out today show there is no room for complacency in the issue of childhood obesity. ISD today published the annual Primary 1 Body Mass Index Statistics in Scotland.
When epidemiological thresholds in the BMI distribution were used to classify children’s weight, 77.1% of Primary 1 children in Scotland were classified as healthy weight in school year 2014/15. This is a small increase from the 2013/14 figure of 76.4% but a small decrease from the year before (2012/13 figure of 77.5%).
Obesity Action Scotland welcomes today’s (20th January 2016) Board Paper from Food Standards Scotland (FSS) which marks a turning point in Scotland’s intention to progress towards a healthier diet.
Obesity Action Scotland is delighted to see that FSS has shifted the discussion on regulation and taxation of Scotland’s food environment from if it should happen to when and how it should happen.
FSS recognise that policies with good intentions have, until now, been insufficient to alter the rise in obesity and that voluntary approaches to working with industry have had a poor response in Scotland. FSS highlight that now is the time to take new approaches to improve the food and drink environment - the use of taxation and regulation are steps we should now take.
Sugar is constantly hitting the headlines due to recent developments in evidence and calls for new policies to reduce the levels of sugar consumption across the UK population. The recent support for Jamie Oliver’s petition to Introduce a tax on sugary drinks in the UK to improve our children’s health led the UK Parliament to hold a debate on 30th November 2015. There was widespread support across political parties for a tax on sugar sweetened drinks.
Watch the proceedings or read the transcript.
A group of leading experts has urged all levels of Government to take bold, committed action to change Scotland’s diet including
- restricting marketing and promotions
- reducing sugar and fat content of foods
- pricing measures such as a sugar tax
- improving labelling of foods bought in shops and restaurants
“Slow Progress. Limited Success. Requires much more effort.” That is the conclusion of Obesity Action Scotland on obesity in Scotland six years after the publication of Scottish Government’s Obesity Route Map. At a time when voluntary health sector organisations are highlighting the importance of healthy weight in the prevention of diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, two in three adults in Scotland remain overweight or obese.