HEALTH Minister James Reilly has admitted he is fighting his own battle of the bulge.
"I'm not happy with the profundity of my rotundity," he said.
Dr Reilly said it wasn't just a case of being well-padded for the winter, it had an impact on people's health status.
Risks range from diabetes and stroke to osteoarthritis or loss of eyesight, interfering with the ability to enjoy life in later years.
"There's not much point, as happened in my own family, of living to be 80 if you spend 14 years with no vision.
"When I say not much point, it's not the best way to spend your last 14 years," he said.
Dr Reilly vowed to continue his battle with his own weight.
"It's an area I've had a long, long interest in for obvious reasons and one I continue to struggle with myself, but I'll keep struggling," he said.