By Dr Andrew Fraser, Director of Public Health Science, NHS Health Scotland
A new alliance of agencies and organisations, born out of Obesity Action Scotland and supported by the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network and Cancer Research UK, has come together to outline their vision to tackle obesity.
The Scottish Obesity Alliance launched on Wednesday 5th December. This new Alliance will provide a unified, influential and independent voice on one of the most significant public health challenges of our time. Working together the Alliance seeks to create a Scotland where healthy food and physical activity are easy, acceptable, affordable and sustainable for all.
This is a critical time to come together to shape policy on obesity prevention. 2 in 3 adults are either overweight or obese in Scotland, and 26% of children aged 2 to 5 years old are at risk of being overweight including 13% who are at risk of being obese. The proposals set out by the Scottish and UK Governments in ‘A Healthier Future – Scotland’s Diet and Healthy Weight Plan’, ‘Scotland’s Physical Activity Delivery Plan’ and ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ chapter 2 show commitment to action, however implementation of the recommended proposals is now urgently required to tackle the obesogenic environment.
The Scottish Obesity Alliance will serve as a forum for organisations working on this agenda in Scotland to collaborate to influence the Scottish and UK Governments policy on overweight and obesity.
Announced as Chair of Scotland’s Obesity Alliance at the launch, Elma Murray OBE said,
“As a long-serving public servant I have seen all too clearly the impact of unhealthy weight on our people and communities. However lasting change will only come if we create supportive and enabling environments for people to make the best choices. I am excited at the potential that this new Alliance will give us. I look forward to working with members to create a strong policy influence for change in Scotland.”
The Scottish Obesity Alliance launched with 12 members and a Manifesto outline, which shares a vision for a Scotland which promotes health and wellbeing. It also identifies key areas where urgent action is required. Members will collectively identify priority policy calls once the Scottish Obesity Alliance is established and meets in the New Year.
To discuss the Scottish Obesity Alliance and membership contact the Alliance Co-ordinator, Shruti Jain at firstname.lastname@example.org.