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Sight loss risk doubles in overweight people

Campaigners yesterday sent warnings that in Scotland, a million overweight adults face twice the risk of sight loss because of their weight.//

Awareness about the relationship between obesity and blindness has to be created among more people, according to a report by the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) Scotland.

The risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) doubles when damage is caused to the body due to obesity. In the UK, AMD is the major cause of sight loss. The risk of developing diabetes increases 10 times in obese people.60% of these diabetic cases suffer from sight problems like cataract.

John Legg, director of RNIB Scotland, said: "Most people wrongly assume that if they don't have any obvious problems with their sight, that everything must be fine. With the huge increase in obesity that we have seen in recent years, many people are now jeopardizing their sight in later life."

According to Trish Richmond, 42, of Motherwell, obesity is the cause of her blindness. She has reduced to 17 stone from 20. She is suffering from glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. "In 1999 the doctors said there was nothing more they could do to save my sight," she said. "No-one ever said to me all this could be due to my weight. If they had I might have been more motivated to lose weight," she said.

By 2010, one in three Scots will be clinically obese, according to estimation.

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