Obesity affects 24% of Irish adults, is a risk factor for multiple medical conditions and costs the state an estimated €1.13bn annually. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 primary school children are overweight or obese.
The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland considers this a serious public health issue and has convened a policy group to identify evidence-based solutions to what is a complex threat to health and wellbeing. Dr Catherine Hayes, co-chair of the group, highlights the need to address this public health issue, “We know from our Growing Up in Ireland study that one quarter of children in Ireland are already overweight or obese and it is our responsibility, as a society, to act in the best interests of our children”
The policy group comprises representatives from various medical specialties including public health, paediatrics, obstetrics, sports and exercise medicine and psychiatry. Other bodies such the Irish Heart Foundation, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, the National Cancer Control Programme and the Irish College of General Practitioners are represented. Dr Donal O’Shea, co chair of the group also said; "Obesity needs action from multiple sectors and at an individual level. I hope the RCPI policy group will give firm guidance to policy makers and individuals. That would help society and families address the lifestyle changes that have led to this obesity driven health crisis."
Maeve Barry, Communications Executive
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