As the Minister for Health Mr James Reilly spoke about his own long-term struggle with weight, the sheer scale of the childhood obesity problem in this country was revealed at the launch of Safefood in Dublin yesterday.
The Ministers assertion that he is not happy "with the profundity of my rotundity" is certainly a quotable quote, but in speaking about his own problem he was, in a way, allowed to side-step the far more important issue of what he and his government intend to do about the problem of obesity in general.
While taking some hard decisions in the recent budget the ministers for Health and Finance dodged the issue of a "sugar tax" which would have made harmful soft-drinks and sugar laden foods more expensive.
So it is a little bit rich for Dr Reilly, just a week later, to say obesity is "an area I've had a long, long interest in for obvious reasons and one I continue to struggle with myself."
Dr Sinead Murphy of Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, has laid out in stark terms the scale of the obesity issue now facing the health services and the government unless urgent measure are taken. There are 100,000 obese children and 300,000 more who are overweight, according to Dr Murphy. She is seeing children of 11 and 12 years of age weighting 17 and 18 stone.
While the causes of this epidemic of fat are complex, Dr Murphy says they are likely to be the result of a combination of lack of exercise coupled with excessive intake of calories from over eating and drinking.
Diet and healthy eating coupled with exercise are essential requirements for a healthy population. While many people embrace such a lifestyle a large number of people have now become so overweight that they need professional help.
Investment in tackling childhood obesity is "patchy and wholly inadequate" says Dr Murphy, who warns that should the current situation continue half the adults living in Ireland will be obese by 2030.