MSP Gil Paterson speaks out on obesity crisis after day of health visits across Bearsden and Milngavie
MSPs have warned the obesity epidemic in Scotland is “major challenge” and will require a culture shift to stop “countless deaths”.
It follows a day of visiting the Beatson Institute in Bearsden where Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay spoke with leading cancer researchers.
Mr Paterson then met with Waitrose Milngavie’s manager Amy Sharp to discuss community work related to children eating well and living healthily.
Cancer Research states that a shocking 28 per cent of children and 65 per cent of adults in Scotland are either obese or overweight — but insisted there is support available.
Now, the MSPs are appealing to other businesses and members of the public to consider and promote the reality of obesity and how it could be fatal to themselves, family and friends.
Mr Paterson said: “The obesity epidemic is a major challenge in Scotland and will lead to countless deaths, deaths that were preventable. This crisis is going to need a cultural shift and cannot be done by legislating, which is why I was delighted to meet with scientists and retailers involved in this battle. Everyone needs to be aware of the death and misery obesity causes.
“We must ingrain from a very young age, that healthy eating is a necessity, and saves lives. I am delighted to hear from manager Amy, at Waitrose in Milngavie, that they are regularly having school visits from primary one to high school, centred around eating well.”
Ms Mackay said: “The scientific research being done at the Beatson Institute is incredible. I was amazed at what we saw at this facility.
“But, Cancer Research has a strong warning for us all. The organisation is calling on a range of measures to prevent obesity and thus the cancers it causes, and we must heed their warnings, especially for our children.”
Amy Sharp, manager of Waitrose Milngavie, said: “It was great to have Gil along to talk about the community work and to explain what we’re doing for school children relating to eating well and healthy living. It is so important that, from a young age, we encourage this awareness and behaviour in children. As Gil says, we have a problem with obesity in Scotland, and changing the culture will take work from not just the government, but private sector as well.”
Press release for Gil Paterson MSP and Rona Mackay MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061772)