ACTION TO TACKLE OBESITY MUST HAVE SOCIAL JUSTICE AT ITS CORE

I recently spoke in a debate on obesity and Covid19, where I called for action to tackle the root cause of the obesity crisis in the UK: poverty and inequality. Obesity in the UK is a public health crisis, we have the highest levels in Europe besides Malta, 66% of adults in Scotland over the age of 16 are overweight, with 29% being obese, and research has found a clear relationship between obesity and risk from serious effects of Covid19, including a significantly increased risk of death.

The effects of obesity go beyond coronavirus however, it stops people from living healthy and fulfilled lives, increasing the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other serious health conditions. It has a considerable effect on the economy and public services, and like many things, the effects of the obesity crisis are felt most sharply by those in poverty.

Health inequalities in the UK are truly shameful and are a direct result of poverty and inequality more widely. For many, healthy choices are all too often too expensive, forcing low-income families to choose unhealthy options in order to survive on their limited budgets, while financial insecurity and stress mean that healthy choices are not available on everyone’s menu.

You can watch my speech below.

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