Scotland must push back against the paunch


Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today called on the Scottish and UK governments to take decisive action to push back against the paunch, after new research shows that just one-in-five adults meet the 5-a-day recommendation. 

The Scottish Health Survey, published today, also revealed: 

• The average number of portions of fruit and vegetables consumed per day has fallen from 3.3 to 3;

• 12% of adults do not consume any fruit or vegetables;

• More than 1 in 4 adults drink over the recommended amount of alcohol;

• Less than two thirds of adults meet exercise guidelines;

• 65% of adults are overweight, with 29% obese. 

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

"With two thirds of adults overweight and almost one in three people obese, it is deeply worrying that we are eating fewer fruit and vegetables and drinking more. 

"In half a decade these figures have shown no improvement and in some areas habits are actually slipping back. This will have a deadly impact on health and quality of life in the long run, as well as increasing the burden on our overstretched NHS. 

"It is time to push back against the paunch and help people live healthier. Liberal Democrats want to see new restrictions on marketing junk food to children and mandatory targets on sugar reduction for food and drink. As well as investing in sport, we would also extend the rights of GPs to social prescribing, including free access to exercise programmes if they judge it will help a person's health and wellbeing.”


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