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Saturday 3 December 2016

Minister 'doesn't believe' WHO claims on our obesity timebomb

Health

Kathleen Lynch
Kathleen Lynch

A Government minister with responsibility for health has said she does not believe the World Health Organisation (WHO) predictions about Ireland's obesity problems.

Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch told a gathering of GPs that she had listened to the figures from the WHO adding: "I don't believe it by the way."

Last week, new research by the World Health Organisation predicted Ireland is on course to be the fattest country in Europe by 2030.

Speaking after the event, the minister stood by her comments insisting she did not buy into the projections.

Actions

"I think we have a whole range of actions now being put in place," she said.

"We're very conscious that our children are getting bigger, not just our children but the population in general. But we have a whole range of actions now in relation to Healthy Ireland programme that we are putting in place.

Ms Lynch said she viewed the comments from the WHO as a warning but insisted the necessary action to avoid such an outcome was being taken here.

"So I think the World Health Organisation's figures and its warning, its outline warning is a good indicator to ensure we don't get to that point," she said.

"This is a warning. It's in the future and this is what will happen if you take no action, but we are taking action.

overweight

"If we take a corrective approach we won't [reach that point] and we've already started on those actions with Healthy Ireland and all of the different programmes we are putting in place," she added.

The WHO figures show that 85pc of Irish women will be overweight and 57pc obese by 2030.

Around 89pc of Irish men will be classified as overweight, with some 48pc obese.

The data which was presented at the recent European Obesity Congress would place Irish men at the top of an "overweight" table of 53 countries alongside Uzbekistan, while Irish women would be the third highest proportion of overweight and obese individuals in Europe by 2030.

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