New healthy eating plan for Louth and Meath
Catherine Byrne, TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, last week launched the Healthy Ireland implementation plan of the Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO).
The aim of the plan is to support and empower service users, staff, communities and the wider population of Louth, Meath, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath to improve their health and wellbeing and to achieve their fullest health potential.
The Midlands Louth Meath CHO's Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan is a five-year plan (2018-2022) and sets out the CHO's commitment to implement 117 actions that encourage people living in the CHO area to lead healthier lifestyles and to make positive lifestyle changes to support their health at every stage of their life - from pre-natal, through early childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into old age.
The health and wellbeing of the population is changing and there are many trends leading us towards an unhealthy and costly future. 49% of Ireland people over 50 have one chronic disease and 18% have more than one. 1 in every 10 people over 50 years of age has diabetes.
The major chronic diseases will increase by 20% to 30% in the next five year.1 in 5 of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetime and 36,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.
Chronic diseases, comprising of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality in the world. In Ireland, these illnesses account for approximately 76% of deaths.
Speaking at the launch, Pat Bennett, Chief Officer, Midlands Louth Meath CHO, stated that 'we need to address these negative health trends before our problems grow larger. An overwhelming body of evidence has established that many chronic diseases are attributable to a number of known and preventable risk factors such as smoking and obesity.