Stirling academic calls for action on Scotland’s obesity crisis

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A cancer prevention expert at the University of Stirling has called on the Scottish Government to take action to “break the grip” of the country’s obesity epidemic.

Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at Stirling

Linda Bauld says more needs to be done to tackle Scotland's obesity epidemic.

Professor Linda Bauld, of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, was reflecting on the Scottish Health Survey, which shows that, in 2016, 29 per cent of children were at risk of being overweight or obese. It also shows that 65 per cent of adults were overweight or obese last year.

The Professor of Health Policy, who is Cancer Research UK’s cancer prevention expert, said: “These stark figures reflect a Scotland where the sad reality is that plus-sized waistlines have become the norm.

“With around two thirds of Scotland’s adult population and a substantial number of children being far too heavy, urgent action is needed.

“The health impact of a heavy nation is significant. Obesity is linked to 13 different types of cancer and is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking.”

Prof Bauld added: “There’s no doubt that a bold strategy to help guide Scots onto the path of better health is needed.

“To break the grip of this obesity epidemic, regulations are needed to restrict multi-buy offers on unhealthy food and drink.

“Obesity is affecting every generation and so, as part of its forthcoming obesity strategy, the Scottish Government must help families make it easier to keep a healthy weight.”

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