Associate feature: Healthy weight is more important than ever
Our weight impacts our health.
Never has that been more stark than now – the last few months have revealed that obesity is a factor in the severity of Covid-19. Whilst for many years we have been aware of its impact on NCDs such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, its role in communicable diseases received less attention. That link is now clear, and immediate; obesity means higher risk of losing lives and livelihoods now, and not some time in the future.
Rates of overweight and obesity are high in Scotland, higher in areas of deprivation; that gap has been widening over time. We need to pay more than lip service to tackling this issue and we need to see changes to the physical environment that influence our everyday food choices to ensure that the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Luckily, poor diet and obesity as well as smoking and excessive alcohol intake are all modifiable disease risk factors. This is why we need strong prevention strategies. By improving national diet and tackling other modifiable risk factors urgently, we can reduce rates of NCDs and risk of avoidable harm from COVID-19.
Preventing overweight and obesity may seem a difficult concept when they already affect 2 out of every 3 adults. Is it too late you may ask? No it isn’t. The population-wide preventative steps we can take will ensure that people who do lose weight find it easier to maintain weight loss, that investment in weight loss services will be supported by improved food environments and that we can achieve healthy weight for the future generations of our country.
Obesity Action Scotland is backing the call for the next Scottish Government to follow a prevention agenda to tackle the health inequalities that are growing in our communities.
Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead, Obesity Action Scotland
This piece was sponsored by Obesity Action Scotland