COUNCIL gyms in West Dunbartonshire have been praised by MSP Gil Paterson after a surge in membership in recent years.
West Dunbartonshire Leisure membership since 2012/13 has risen from 740 to 1,914 in 2016/17, according to information collated by the Scottish Government.
The biggest leap was recorded in 2016/17, from 1,120 to 1,914 – a rise of around 71 per cent.
Mr Paterson has praised West Dunbartonshire Council for running the service and highlighted the opening of Clydebank Leisure Centre as a milestone in creating a healthier community.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “West Dunbartonshire Council must be praised for this encouraging uptake in its gyms – it is so important that we get more and more people exercising and living an active life to confront Scotland’s obesity epidemic.
“In 2016, 65 per cent of adults in Scotland aged 16 and up were overweight, including 29 per cent who were obese. This is due to lack of activity and having a poor diet, according to the Scottish Health Survey. Being overweight or obese causes a plethora of life-ending diseases and huge damage to mental health.
“It simply cannot go on and government, both local and national, need to be at the forefront of providing people with the tools to lose weight.
“For example, we have the new Clydebank Leisure Centre, which I believe is a strong reason for the uptake of gym subscribers in 2017 in West Dunbartonshire.
“I am also glad the SNP government’s investments at a school, community and national level to promote healthy living seems to be having an effect.
“Hopefully, this upward trend of gym use continues, because self-improvement and living an active lifestyle not only changes the life of the individual but rubs off on family, friends and other members of the community. And importantly, exercise has an incredible effect on improving mental health, in improving confidence and self-esteem.”
Obesity statistics in Scotland: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/TrendObesity
West Dunbartonshire Leisure membership figures: