This site is intended for health professionals only

Scotland may face "obesity checks"

Health officials have suggested obesity checks are given to new mothers and their babies in an effort to curb Scotland's weight problem.

Recent research revealed that Scotland still has some of the lowest life expectancy rates in Europe, and the Scottish government is keen to ensure its future generation are able to live long, healthy lives.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: "I want to make sure that every child in Scotland has the best start in life to ensure they can live longer, healthier lives. Making sure they have the right nutrition from day one is absolutely vital to this."

Under the new proposals, women would be screened about six months after giving birth, while their children will be tested around their first and second birthdays, and both could be referred to specialists for advice on diet and life style changes if there was a concern about their weight.

The Scottish government's draft strategy on improving maternal and infant nutrition is due for consultation this week, with the final version expected to be published next year, while several other ideas to promote breastfeeding and healthy eating in children are also being proposed.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Obesity checks

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I believe that everyone, not just mothers/children should be screened for obesity and other health issues. Given the shortage of money at the moment, why can't employers pay something like a health insurance for all employees. This could be say £100 a year. Not only would this free up millions of pounds of NHS money currently being spent on health
prevention/promotion but would mean all of the working population would have their health checked as required. Excess money could be used to ensure robust support systems were in place within the community to help people change unhealthy lifestyles. There would be benefits to employers too; less sick days, healthier workforce etc. Perhaps we could begin to
create a culture whereby health becomes a common topic of conversation within the workplace. Employees would be contractually bound to attend health assessments and to attend referrals if necessary. I work in health promotion at the moment and one major problem is getting people to attend
weight management courses etc. Much to gain but difficult to implement I guess!" - Fiona Mcintosh, Dufftown