Cash-strapped hospitals have spent up to a quarter of a MILLION pounds on super-size morgue fridges

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Mortuary at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has  bought four super-size fridges for obese corpses (stock)


North Wales’ health board has spent almost £250,000 on specialist equipment for obese patients.

Since 2014, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which covers 19 hospitals,  has invested £242,923 on hoists, scales and walking frames for overweight patients, according to a Freedom of Information request. 

A new mortuary at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has even bought four super-size fridges to store obese corpses using NHS funding.

Around 26 per cent of adults in the UK and 39 per cent in the US are obese. 

Experts predict the number of morbidly obese adults across Britain will double over the next 17 years, with Wales being most affected.

Mortuary at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has  bought four super-size fridges for obese corpses (stock)

Mortuary at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has bought four super-size fridges for obese corpses (stock)

More than £80,000 spent in one year  

The board’s biggest spend occurred between 2017 and 2018 when it invested £81,610 on wheelchairs, couches and bed sheets for obese patients.

In the first few months of this year, £18,538 was spent on such equipment. 

A spokesman for the health board said: ‘We’re committed to ensuring everyone in north Wales is able to access the healthcare they need, which includes investing in equipment to support patients with a high body mass index.

‘Eating well and being more active is key to leading a healthy life and the health board is working with partners to support local people to make healthy behaviour choices.

‘Recognising that many people across Wales struggle to maintain a healthy weight, we are starting a new specialist obesity service this year.

‘We are also reviewing our services for children, and are working hard with partners on our new “Let’s Get Moving” approach to help people across north Wales to be more active.’

Around 26 per cent of adults in the UK and 39 per cent in the US are obese (stock)

Around 26 per cent of adults in the UK and 39 per cent in the US are obese (stock)

Around 26 per cent of adults in the UK and 39 per cent in the US are obese (stock)

HAVE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO CURB CHILDHOOD OBESITY BEEN WATERED DOWN?

Government plans 

The Government came under intense pressure over its childhood obesity plan, released in August 2016, which campaigners argue was heavily watered down. 

Curbs on junk food advertising and restrictions on unhealthy product placement in supermarkets were among measures cut from a draft of strategy, it was claimed.

A first draft of the plan leaked to Channel 4’s Dispatches was alleged to contain a pledge to halve the number of overweight children by 2026.

This, producers said, was changed to a pledge to ‘significantly reduce’ the number of overweight children when the full strategy was published last August.

But have they been watered down? 

Among other proposals removed from the final strategy were supposedly plans to force restaurants, cafes and takeaways to put calorie information on menus.

Supermarkets would have been forced to remove junk food from around check-outs and the end of aisles and junk-food advertising would have been curbed.

The final strategy did include a ‘sugar tax’ on the soft drinks industry, which has since prompted many manufacturers to slash their levels.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in 2015 that he would ensure the ‘great scandal’ of childhood obesity was one of his main priorities. 

Baby food in the firing line over obesity  

This comes after a report released last June revealed health officials will examine whether baby food is too sugary as part of a plan to tackle childhood obesity.

The Government will review products aimed at infants and youngsters, according to the report ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’.

The report follows a similar plan released in 2016, which led to the sugar tax on soft drinks coming into play on April 6, as well as food manufacturers such as Kellogg’s cutting up to 40 per cent of sugar from their children’s cereals.

The UK Government aims to halve children obesity rates by 2030, the report adds.

Nearly a quarter of children in England are obese or overweight at five years old, which rises to one third at age 11.

Previous research suggests obese children are more at risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as being more likely to be overweight as adults, which puts them at risk of conditions such as heart disease and certain types of cancer. 

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