€4m spent in war on rising rates of obesity
DUN Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is planning to tackle rising obesity rates among its population by expanding its leisure facilities.
Council management say Stepaside Golf Course, which is run by the local authority, and adjacent all-weather facilities, will play a pivotal role in their plans to get children and adults more active.
In April last year, the council identified issues with the surfacing of the all-weather pitches.
However, the issues have since been resolved by a contractor and work on the facility is expected to be completed early this year.
CEO for Leisure Services Tom Mowlds said an estimated €4m has been allocated to leisure services in the past four years.
He said the services have been vital in the fight against obesity and heart disease among the general population.
He explained that staff members operating leisure services run by the council have been trained to give advice to people about possible cardiac problems by providing GP referral programmes and a cardiac rehab service.
"We plan on continuing to develop a range of services to promote exercise and tackle obesity. It is important that we limit health costs associated to obesity. We will also continue to offer services for people who are unemployed." He said an estimated 100,000 people have already taken part in leisure services operated by the council in the past four years.
Dr Colin Dunleavy, senior weight management expert at St Colmcille's Hospital, told the Herald it is vital that all local authorities expand their services to target obesity.