HAWICK MSP John Lamont is calling for “more to be done” following the release of figures which show a rise in the number of Borders primary one children who are overweight, obese or severely obese.
The statistics, published by ISD Scotland, show that of the youngsters entering school whose weight was measured in the NHS Borders region, 13.7 per cent are overweight with 5.9 per cent of them being considered as obese. These figures are up on the year before when 13 per cent of those measured were overweight and 5.3 per cent were obese.
Mr Lamont told the Hawick News: “There is no doubt that these statistics are concerning, and show that we need to be doing more in the Borders to encourage healthy living for our children. I am sure that many people will be shocked to see that even in primary one nearly 14 per cent of our children are considered to be overweight or obese.
“The early years of a child’s life can have a huge impact on their future development and it is important that we try to give them the best start possible. This is clearly not the case at the moment, and more must be done to teach parents about healthy eating for their children.
“We have a duty to offer advice to parents on how best to provide their children with a balanced diet and to be more active. By offering this guidance and ensuring that our nurseries and schools also provide healthier food, I have no doubt that we can see the percentage of overweight children start to decrease.”
The Tory member added that he hoped the statistics would be taken as a warning about what will happen if action is no taken, and that while efforts were already being made to encourage healthy living for local children it was clear that more needed to be done.