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Scotland mulls obesity checks for mothers and babies

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New mothers and their babies could be given “obesity checks” under plans to improve Scotland’s weight problem, it has emerged.

Women would be screened about six months after giving birth and their babies weighed around their first and second birthdays as part of a raft of measures put forward by health officials.

If concerns were highlighted about their weight, youngsters could then be referred on to specialists for advice on making diet and lifestyle changes to avoid future health problems.

A number of other ideas to promote breastfeeding and healthy eating in children are also being proposed.

The Scottish government’s draft strategy on improving maternal and infant nutrition is to go out for consultation this week, with the final version set to be published next year.

It notes that the mother’s diet before conception and during pregnancy, the feeding received in the first few months of life and the overall diet of growing children all contribute “significantly” to the long term health of the population.

Official statistics released last week found that Scotland still has some of the lowest life expectancy rates in Europe.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: “I want to make sure that every child in Scotland has the best start in life to ensure they can live longer, healthier lives. Making sure they have the right nutrition from day one is absolutely vital to this.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • With so few staff in post, who do they think is going to be able to take this on? Health visitors are few and far between, skill mix is patchy and often without appropriate training, so do they create another job/post that cxannot be filled because of financial conditions?

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