While Scotland has had an obesity problem for a long time, that affects both men and women, the latest statistics are worrying health officials. The research has health professionals calling for a better self-image promotion for women. Why are men not put under the same pressure to lose weight? Jim Hume, a Scottish Lib Dem health spokesmen, calls for the country to tackle the obesity crisis in a healthy and sustainable way that doesn’t create body confidence problems for one sex. With obesity rates being similar for both genders throughout the country, why do women feel the pressure to lose weight more than their male counterparts?

Scotland Obesity Rates

landscape-540122_1920The number of both adults and children in Scotland considered to be at least overweight continues to rise. Between 1995 and 2013, the number of overweight or obese increased from 52.4% to 61.9% for individuals aged 16 to 64. Children alone are 30.6% overweight (a rise in 2012) as a whole and nearly 17% are at a risk for obesity as an adult. It is no secret that obesity causes many health risks such as diabetes. Approximately 258,570 people in the country were diagnosed with diabetes. Scotland is number two in the world for obesity.

Many health experts are calling for tougher laws that will stop unhealthy food ads for kids on the Internet. Current national guidelines prevent any promotion of foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat during children’s television shows. The UK Association for the Study of Obesity wants to see the same guidelines applying to the web. They believe that action should also be taken to reduce food marketing on the internet as companies are not living up to their commitments to fight obesity in the country.

About the Study

The study looked at 881 individuals who had bariatric procedures in 2009-2013. 653 of those studied or 74.1% were women. That number stayed steady throughout that entire five-year period. The largest number of weight loss surgery procedures done in 2013 was by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde where 45 women and eight men had surgery. In Ayrshire and Arran 29 men and nine men had bariatric surgery including gastric banding and gastric bypass surgeries. Lothian saw 29 women and eight men having bariatric surgery. All of these figures come from the country’s Liberal Democrats.

While the national picture of obesity shows that men and women have similar obesity rates,
women seem to be taking the surgery plunge much more than men. Health professionals work directly with patients to help them make informed decisions regarding their treatment. However, Scottish Ministers want to tackle any pressure women feel to have an idealistic body image type.

Jo Swinson, a Scottish Liberal Democrat MP, is leading a body image campaign across the UK, which highlights these same pressures. She believes that if Scotland can get a grip on their obesity crisis then others might work to do the same in Europe and the world.