Tuesday 20 August 2019

Real Health Podcast: Ireland's obesity epidemic and what we all need to do

Karl Henry

Karl Henry

“It’s the biggest health problem this country has.”

These are the stark words from Professor Donal O’Shea, the HSE’s Clinical Lead on Obesity, who joins me on this week’s Real Health podcast to talk about the obesity epidemic that is affecting Ireland.

Did you know that a report by the European Commission on Obesity found that obesity levels in Ireland are far higher than the EU average? Not only that, but by 2030 Ireland could be the fattest nation in Europe, with 89% of men and 85% women being overweight?

It’s a problem of epidemic proportions unless we all do something about it, increasing awareness, helping ourselves, our friends and our kids, and Donal O’Shea is one outspoken voice on this issue who wants to see a lot more being done.

“The penny is finally dropping within government,” he tells me. “But only after the financial dawning of what this is costing.”

Donal tells me why he thinks progress has been slow so far in tackling Ireland’s obesity problem, why growing health inequality is so worrying and targeting the holy grail of health literacy leading to prevention rather than treatment.

For more episodes from the Real Health podcast don’t forget to visit the show page.

And you can get in touch with me on realhealth@independent.ie and @KarlHenryPT on Instagram and Twitter.

The Real Health podcast is in association with Laya Healthcare.

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