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Friday, 29 August 2008

Wales is tipping the scales!

So Wales, according to research, is officially the fattest place in the UK.

The research is compiled using data from GP practices relating to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2006/07. The QOF includes keeping a register of patients aged 16 and over with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over in the previous 15 months.

GPs are only too aware that the level of chronic disease in Wales is running at a higher level right across the board, than any other part of the UK.

Vascular diseases, like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, and a range of other conditions, are all related to weight among other things.

While obesity and poverty are inextricably linked – with areas of Wales being the poorest in the UK, and Julian Tudor Hart's inverse care law alive and well in Wales, - improving health remains a massive challenge.

As much as we need to be trying to encourage people to exercise more, very often, those very people who need to, can't afford to join a gym. In supermarkets, the "buy one get one free" offers never seem to be on fruit and veg. Hardly enouraging a healthier lifestyle is it?

So is part of the solution having more exercise on prescription and more investment in sports in schools.

Ultimately, though cost is a contributing factor, we need to take personal responsibility for the amount of exercise we do and the type of food we eat. The buck stops with our burgeoning waistline.

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