Council chiefs hope to half obesity rates in North Ayrshire – with seven out of 10 adults overweight and a quarter of P1 children above a healthy weight.

North Ayrshire has been chosen as an ‘Early Adopter’ by the Scottish Government as they look to half obesity rates in children by 2030 and improve the population’s health.

Council and NHS bosses are to look at ways they can work together to make a difference, with a new ‘whole systems’ approach to diet, healthy weight and physical activity.

North Ayrshire Council says its ongoing work with the Active Communities Strategy and its Drop Everything and Move campaigns (#DrEAMNA) has been a factor in the Scottish Government’s selection.

Cllr Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We all need to take action and try to find solutions.

“There is clear link between deprivation and health so we have many challenges on our doorstep in North Ayrshire. But these are certainly not insurmountable.

“The whole systems approach will see stakeholders – that understand the current and emerging public health issues – working together to deliver sustainable change and better lives for the people of Scotland.

“It is vital that we increase healthy weight across the local population with a focus on children and health inequalities.”

Dr Joy Tomlinson, Interim Director of Public Health, added: “By taking a whole-system approach, we can take action across all age groups to prevent diabetes and other long term-conditions in the future.

“We can’t under-estimate the extent of this task. But by working together and making those changes now, we will be investing in our children’s health for the future.”