I've called for more support for those living with diabetes and obesity after new figures showed that the number of people living with the conditions had reached record levels.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people living with diabetes has risen from 276,430 to 284,122, an increase of 3%, while the figures for type 2 diabetes show an increase from 244,050 to 250,881. In 2015, 65% of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 29% who were obese.
Diabetes and obesity among adults are on the rise across Scotland, yet the government’s efforts to tackle these problems have stalled. These new figures demonstrate that poor health is widespread and growing.
To get Scotland fit for the future it’s crucial that we see more support from the government for encouraging healthy lifestyles. For example, the proportion of children walking or cycling to school is now the lowest since the turn of the century.
Experts across the country are telling us that while a comprehensive health strategy should seek to increase physical activity, particularly through supporting active travel, this should not be the sole focus of Government intervention.
Scottish Liberal Democrats would invest in sport and promote healthy lifestyles as well as extend the rights of GPs to social prescribing, including free access to exercise programmes if they judge it will help the health and wellbeing of an individual.
Now we need clear signals from ministers that they are finally ready to step up and set out how they will turn this situation around.