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£40 million to tackle obesity in pregnant women and toddlers

The Scottish government have set aside £40 million to to promote healthy eating and physical activity for pregnant women and toddlers
Pregnant women and toddlers in Scotland are to be targeted in a £40 million drive to tackle obesity.

Over the next three years the Scottish government will use the money for promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

£19 million will be spent on improving the nutrition of young women and children under five in poor areas, while £12 million will be spent on getting people to exercise.

Pregnant women on low incomes will get vouchers to buy fruit and vegetables, while money will also be spent on improving awareness about folic acid, which reduces the risk of abnormalities in babies.

The scheme will also include sports, dance, walking and healthy cooking projects for youngsters.

"Obesity is one of the problems that, like climate change, does not have a simple solution and requires a new way of thinking," Shona Robison, minister for public health, told the Guardian.

"This is about providing people with more opportunity to take control of their own health."

One in five Scots is clinically obese, costing the NHS around £200 million a year.

Ms Robison told the Mail on Sunday: "If we successfully tackle obesity then we will reduce ill health.

"Mums, babies and toddlers will benefit from better support to ensure they can improve their own and their children's nutrition."

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