Leader comment: Let's build a sporting nation

That a record number of Scotland's children '“ nearly a quarter '“ are already overweight or obese when they start primary school shows that we, as a society, are failing to get to grips with the unhealthy lifestyles of the modern world.

A record number of Scottish children are obese or overweight
A record number of Scottish children are obese or overweight

Supermarkets are packed full of cheap food high in fat, sugar or salt – and sometimes all three – which we have evolved to crave.

Parents clearly have some responsibility for their children’s weight, but many struggle to stay healthy themselves and the problem is much wider.

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Pressure should be brought to bear on food manufacturers and retailers.

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But our schools are a place where we can inculcate the benefits of exercise and a balanced diet from an early age. We need to teach all our children how to cook tasty, healthy meals.

The Scottish Government’s commitment to becoming the first “Daily Mile Nation” – in which people of all ages walk, jog or run the distance every day – is to be welcomed.

It is increasingly clear that physical fitness has a beneficial effect on mental health and academic performance.

So if we can get to grips with obesity, we will be healthier, happier and wiser.