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Ministerial Debate: Physical Activity & Obesity

Ministerial Debate: Physical Activity & Obesity

Thursday 17 May 2012

On 17th May 2012 Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, held a ministerial debate on physical activity and obesity in the Scottish Parliament.

The address was a follow up to the obesity route map launched in 2010 and discussed achievements to date but also some of the challeneges still to come.

The address began by outlining the current health and cost implications of inaction to Scottish communities including:

•    If we were to do nothing, the direct cost to Scotland by 2030 would be around 70,000 more type 2 diabetes cases, 400,00 more cases of hypertension and 21,000 more heart attacks
•    If obesity levels continue to rise the cost to the Scottish economy will be around £3 billion, or 2 percent of Scotland's gross domestic product by 2030
•    22 percent of 6 year-olds have been found to be overweight
•    Physical inactivity is one of our major health challenges and contributes to nearly 2,500 deaths in Scotland each year
•    The cost to the national health service is around £91million each year and a further £58million is associated with the cost of medicines to treat conditions that are associated with physical inactivity


The Minister outlined some of the government's plans and investment strategies to tackle some of these challenges. A summary of some of the Minister's major announcements included:

•    Maintaining the physical activity budget at £3.3million per year for the next three years
•    £1.2million each year to the Paths for All Partnership
•    An increased sustainable transport budget which will help develop the national cycle network
•    Development of a National Walking Strategy
•    Nearly £6million of additional support made available to local authorities to "close the gap" in achieving 2 hours of PE a week


A full transcription of the debate can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.