Wednesday 26 October 2016

Winning while you lose in obesity war

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

Dr Donal O’Shea. Photo: Ronan Lang
Dr Donal O’Shea. Photo: Ronan Lang

'It is almost entirely preventable, if you get a good lifestyle and physical activity infrastructure in place from a young age. That is where the emphasis has to be." This was the reaction of Dr Donal O'Shea, obesity expert, to the news that Irish men are on course to be the fattest in Europe.

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As a nation, we are tipping the scales in the obesity league, with women also becoming much heavier.

Dr O'Shea has been warning that we are ticking down the clock to a health time-bomb unless we urgently review our lifestyles.

In just four decades, we have arrived at a pass where more people are obese than underweight.

According to Dr O'Shea, we have been looking the other way when it comes to tackling the crisis but it is time for a radical reality check. He points to a lack of regulation of the marketing of high-fat and high-sugar food, and a drop in the levels of exercise as key factors.

When combined with sedentary lifestyles, the dangers are all too obvious. As Dr O'Shea suggests, this is a call for action, not panic. We have to face up to the threat that obesity poses and there are real benefits from doing so.

It has been said before that, when managed properly, a good diet is the only game you can win when you lose.

Irish Independent

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