At this weekend's UCI World Cup track cycling, the Scottish trio of Chris Hoy, Craig McLean and Ross Edgar won the team sprint gold medal. The super-fit threesome are unusual: unlike an increasing number of their countryfolk, they are not obese. An NHS study released today shows that almost a quarter of youngsters aged between four and five have a serious weight problem.

Scottish kids are getting fatter

22.3 percent of Scottish children in their first year of primary school are classed as overweight, said a report from the Information Statistics Division of NHS Scotland

9.5 percent are obese and 4.4 percent are severely obese.

The number of obese children in Scotland is running at double the UK average

Older schoolchildren are even more overweight: 19.4 percent of 12 year olds are obese and 11.2 percent are severely obese.

The greatest increase was in primary seven, where the proportion of overweight children rose by nearly 4 percent to 34.1 percent.

Tom Ponton, Edinburgh’s Liberal Democrat health spokesman and chair of the children and young people’s scrutiny panel, told The Scotsman:

"I think there should be more PE in the curriculum, even if that meant a longer school day."

Ponton said he was overweight himself and that healthy eating is important.

Instead of calling for more cycling to school, many Scottish politicos seem to think it’s enough that fizzy pop will be banned in Scottish schools in 2007.

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