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Women most likely to have weight loss surgery

Seven out of 10 people who had weight loss surgery in Scotland over the past five years were women, according to latest figures.

During that period more than 881 people underwent bariatric procedures, 653 of them women.

The largest number of procedures in 2013 was carried out by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, where 45 women and eight men had weight loss surgery.

In Ayrshire and Arran, 29 women and nine men this year have had bariatric surgery, which includes gastric bypasses and gastric bands, while in Lothian it was 29 women and eight men, according to the figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

Scottish Lib Dem health spokesman Jim Hume said that national levels of obesity are similar between men and women and called for more to be done to tackle poor body image among women.

He said: “Our figures show that seven out of 10 people who received weight loss in a survey of the past five years were women.

“This is despite the national picture of obesity levels remaining similar between women and men. Health professionals are best placed to help patients make informed decisions about their treatment but Scottish ministers have a duty to tackle the pressures placed on women to conform to an idealistic type of body image.

“It is concerning that the distribution of these more drastic types of weight loss surgery do not reflect the real picture of obesity in Scotland.

“Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson has led the campaign on body image issues across the UK, highlighting the pressures faced by men and women of all ages.

“If Scotland is to get a grip on its obesity crisis it must be done in a healthy and sustainable way which doesn’t create further body confidence issues in our society.”

He added: “Scottish ministers should look at these figures and ensure they are doing all that they can to promote good health and tackle the pressures placed on all groups of society to conform to an idealistic type of body image.”

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