Obesity threatens health gains, Scotland's CMO warns

Life expectancy gains achieved by reducing smoking and increasing exercise may be lost to problems created by rising obesity, Scotland's chief medical officer has warned.

A positive environment for health decisions needs to be created
A positive environment for health decisions needs to be created

To ensure this does not happen, society will need to create a positive environment to support people to make healthy choices, he said.

In his annual report published this week, Dr Harry Burns said that improving health would require attention to the social fabric of communities. People needed ‘a positive environment in which to take decisions about their health behaviours,' he argued.

‘Failure to deliver such an environment is so strongly associated with ill health that it is important to examine the possible mechanisms underlying the relationship if we are to intervene appropriately to generate better health,' he said.

He added: ‘Serious efforts to reduce calorie consumption and increase energy expenditure across the whole population will be required if we are not to see an unnecessary rise in mortality from heart disease and stroke. With a consequent negative impact on life expectancy.'

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