Letters to the Editor: 'We need to raise awareness and tackle scourge of obesity'
The global scourge of obesity is topping smoking as the main cause of death and cancers. The multiple factors that contribute to obesity are notoriously complex and intertwined. The statistics are appalling. Tackling obesity is therefore one of the most formidable health challenges that define the 21st century.
There is an urgent priority to create an atmosphere infused with cultural, political, social and environmental undertones to raise awareness and educate lay people about unhealthy lifestyles, foods and beverages, and translate policies into advice and recommendations with the public and private sectors, mosques, churches, policy makers, academics, civil society and NGOs on board.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
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London, United Kingdom
Banning advertising would reduce alcohol’s deadly impact
Having known three people in the vicinity of the Westport/Castlebar area who have died as a result of their alcoholism in the last month, it is amazing how the tragic effects of alcohol abuse are often denied in this country. One cannot be surprised at the advertising of alcohol on TV and radio by drinks companies and supermarkets, as well as the sponsorship of major sporting competitions. Companies spend large amounts of money on advertising only to increase sales. Alcohol disease/addiction can lead to death, marriage break-ups, deprivation of spouses and children, as well as taking up valuable hospital beds while senior citizens lie on trolleys for hours.
Some years ago Micheál Martin, the then health minister, took on the cigarette lobby and banned smoking in public places, as well as banning it from TV and radio advertising and sponsorship of sporting events. This brought about a huge decrease in cigarette smoking.
It’s about time the Government of today takes on the drinks lobby and does likewise. We probably need the strength of Fr Matthew or Micheál Martin to prevent the deaths of our young people from overuse of this deadly drug.
Castlebar, Co Mayo
Dubs’ success is hard-earned – and should be celebrated
Is Eamonn Sweeney on a one-man vendetta to criticise the Dublin senior football team? It certainly looks that way, if his recent columns in the Irish Independent are anything to go by. If it’s not getting too much money, it’s getting an easy time from referees. Eamonn’s logic is Dublin should be punished because John Costello and Jim Gavin are doing their jobs right. It’s like winning does not count. We love a loser. Out of the six finals Dublin have won recently, four were won by a single point. Money has nothing to do with a player missing a chance to put his team ahead or level in the closing stages of an All-Ireland final. Neither has the weather, the referee nor Donald Trump. He’s not been blamed yet, but give it time.
So the drive for five continues and if Dublin win the All Ireland or not, it would be nice to see them get some praise for what they have achieved instead of the begrudgery with which they have been written about in recent weeks.
Politicians must stop fawning to the wealthy interest groups
The older I get and the longer I observe politics, politicians and successive governments who have governed this country, the more I come to one inescapable conclusion: successive governments, both single-party and coalitions, have acted and continue to act for the benefit of a small minority of wealthy interest groups comprising financial institutions such as banks – domestic and foreign – plus big business and wealthy vested-interest groups.
What other conclusion could one come to when we see yet another sale to a vulture fund by one of our banks of €900m of what the bank claims are non-performing loans?
We see a cosy arrangement that will see the people of this country paying a staggering €3bn-plus contract for broadband in preference over a €1bn tender from a second bidder. There’s also the matter of a multi-billion cost overrun at the new children’s hospital. We have a housing policy that reflects a complete apathy towards young couples trying to buy their own home because of a Government housing policy that is sending a whole generation of young couples into the clutches of professional landlords, charging huge rents.
There’s a complete lack of interest in tackling the insurance companies, the banks, and legal profession fees.
Last but not least, there’s the collusion by successive governments with EU banks to settle the gambling debts of wealthy bondholders.
Kingswood Heights, Dublin 24