The NHS Scotland figures have revealed that about 34% of the 12 year olds in Scotland are either clinically obese or overweight. The Information Statistics Division (ISD) has published this research conducted by the Government. Childhood obesity is directly connected to latter year problems like diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, back pain, low self-esteem and heart disease, which may prove to be an expensive proposition to the NHS.
The country's political parties are of the view that this trend should be checked either through greater physical activity or better eating habits. Of the total overweight 12 year olds in 2004-2005, 19.4% belonged to the obese category, while 11.2% were severely obese. This is expected to develop into a greater problem than alcohol and smoking, according to doctors. A similar pattern of obesity in children is also being witnessed in the US.
A sedentary lifestyle can also be a cause to this. The Deputy Health Minister of the UK Lewis Macdonald, has suggested more physical exercise and improving the meals provided at schools to check this problem, particularly in poor localities where this problem is more common. The consumption of junk food also has to be discouraged among children. Scotland is behind when compared to other parts of the UK in tackling obesity in children.