Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Obesity and Diabetes in the North must be tackled head on.

14 January, 2009 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee has stated that he welcomes the Audit Office report on Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in the North, which examines how effective DHSSPS's investment in health promotion has been in preventing the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.

Mr Maskey said that a quarter of all men and 23% of women in the North are considered to be obese and this equates to 2,100 deaths per annum locally due to the lack of physical activity.

Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

"There is over 62,000 people in the North making up around 5% of the population over 20 years of age, that have Type 2 diabetes and it is forecast to rise over to 81,000 by 2015. A report from Diabetes UK states that 10% of the Health budget is spent treating those suffering from Diabetes which equals almost £370m per year.

"What we need to see is better information for management to ensure the effectiveness of obesity intervention strategies such as the departmental programme for collecting and recording Body Mass Index measurements for all Year 8 and 9 pupils.

"This would allow for a more focused and strategic approach from health care management to all their staff in combating this disease.

"There are currently no targets for reducing the incidence of diabetes. Given the above figures and the increasing trend of diabetes it is very clear that the Department of Health must do more to address this issue."

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