FUNDING for childhood obesity in Glasgow has been slashed by 20% in four years.

Figures revealed by the Scottish Government show the cash available to the health board to tackle the problem have been cut year on year.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has had a higher reduction in funding than healthboards across Scotland overall.

The details released by public health minister Aileen Campbell show the health board received £427,116 in 2012/13 but by 2015/16 had reduced to £370,003 - a cut of more than 13%.

They were released in response to a question from Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar.

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The Evening Times requested the funding data for the current year, 2016/17, from the health board and discovered cash has been further slashed to £342,000 - a reduction of 20% since 2012/13.

Across all Scotland’s health boards the cut was just 5.5%.

The health board said there needs to be more cash invested in tackling what is a growing problem.

The numbers of children starting school who are overweight or obese has increased in recent years with around one in four not at a healthy weight and 25% of two and a half year olds in Greater Glasgow are also considered overweight.

The health board said the figures are for dedicated funding and that many overall staff contribute to the efforts to tackle obesity.

However it wants more money available for a range of initiatives to reduce the obesity rate.

Labour's Anas Sarwar said the funding cuts are ill-advised.

He said: "Investing in schemes to tackle childhood obesity is smart spending for the future of our health service.

"These short-sighted SNP cuts will just cost our NHS more in the long-term as hospitals have to treat illness associated with obesity."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it has a range of programmes designed to reduce obesity rates but said that the available funding relative to the scale of the problem was relatively small.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHS GG&C Director of Public Health, said: “I do believe that there should be more investment and attention given to the prevention and management of overweight in children and young people, not just by the NHS but all public services working with both private and voluntary sectors.”

Funding for tackling childhood obesity and healthy weight for Scotland’s fourteen health boards has been cut from £2m in 2013/14 to £1.89m last year a cut of 5.5%.

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Ms Campbell said: “The Scottish Government invests over £2 billion a year in the health board, and we also invest in a range of national projects and initiatives to tackle obesity.

“This includes our Eat Better Feel Better campaign to promote healthy eating, and our work with the food and drink industry to encourage healthier choices, promotions, and recipes.”

She said numbers of healthy weight children had risen in the latest figures.