THE number of obese Scots going under the knife for weight-loss surgery has increased by more than a third.
Between 2012 and 2015, 713 Scots had bariatric surgery to help them to lose weight, an increase of 36% on the number between 2009 and 2011.
The newest data also reveals a gender gap in the fat reduction operations, with women making up three quarters of patients between 2012 and 2015.
Last year NHS Lothian undertook 49 procedures on females and just nine on males.
The new figures have prompted renewed warnings that Scots need greater assistance in managing their weight and remaining healthy.
Jim Hume, health spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “The fact that the number of weight-loss surgeries increased so substantially… would suggest we have not got to grips with Scotland’s growing waistline.
“There are no easy answers, and the solution needs to include promoting physical activity, educating people about food, and medical interventions where appropriate.
“First and foremost this is about Scotland’s health, but overweight and obese patients also increase pressure on our NHS.
“People struggling with their weight are more likely to suffer from any number of health conditions. It is time ministers looked again at how we can help Scots manage their weight more effectively”
Scots obstetricians have already backed a public health campaign encouraging obese women to lose weight before becoming pregnant.
Experts have found that obesity can be a key factor in preventing fatalities when complications arise during childbirth.