The BBC website has revelaed that obesity levels in Scotland are the second highest in the developed world behind the USA, new statistics have revealed.
The figures were published as the Scottish Government announced plans to remove sweets and fizzy drinks from schools.
Under new rules, the amount of chips served in school meals will also be cut and more fruit and vegetables provided. Children’s Minister Adam Ingram said he wanted to change young people’s habits.
Since 1995, obesity in the adult population has increased by 46%. There have been marked increases in men aged 35 to 64 and in women aged 35 to 44, while one in five children in primary seven were estimated to be obese in 2004/05.
The report said: “These figures provide little evidence that current approaches to obesity are having any impact.”
The cost of treating obesity-related disease in Scotland was estimated at £171m in 2001.
The condition is likely to result in rising levels of Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and hypertension.
Declining levels of physical activity and “sedentary lifestyles” are highlighted in the report as a possible factor in the growing levels of obesity in developed countries.
The availability of cheap, energy-dense food could be a further factor.
Chips will only be served in schools as part of a nutritional meal
Meanwhile, ministers set out new nutritional guidelines for Scottish schools which will be written in to legislation and be applied from August 2008.
It comes in response to recommendations from a group of nutrition, child health, dental and education experts.
At least two portions of fruit and vegetables will be served every lunchtime, oily fish will be served once every three weeks, while deep fried food will be limited to three items a week.
Sweets and fizzy drinks will be removed from schools and chips will only be served up as part of an overall balanced and nutritional meal.
Mr Ingram said: “By targeting our youngest citizens we can make a lasting difference.
“Putting healthy options on a plate for pupils every day will develop their taste for the food that’s good for them and stop unhealthy habits from taking hold.”
Tune in next time to find out what my views are on the recommendations and what I would suggest to get things right…