Saturday 24 February 2018

Society not to blame for our drunk, fat children

We need to grow up and take responsibility for our own eating and drinking habits, writes Emer O'Kelly

Young Irish men and women, those under the age of 25, are in a mess. Report after report, survey after survey, tell us that they regularly drink themselves into insensibility and are grossly overweight due to inadequate and unhealthy diets.

People of my generation grew up being told that the notion of the "drunken Irish" was a slur being perpetrated by "Little Englanders" who didn't like the fact that thousands of us arrived in their country looking for work. Now we know that it was no slur, it was the truth. We drink more than most other races, and we handle it worse than most other people do. The combination is lethal, leading to what can be seen in the centre of every Irish city and town every Friday and Saturday night.

Just as we now know that obesity is as much of a problem among our young people as is alcohol. It may not be as anti-social, but it can do almost as much long-term damage. And where young people are concerned, it seems that the majority of parents whose children were categorised as excessively overweight or even obese, are of the opinion that the children's weight is "just about right".

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