herald

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Population has got fatter in last 2 years

Some 70pc of men are overweight or obese compared with 53pc of women
Some 70pc of men are overweight or obese compared with 53pc of women

The people of Ireland have got fatter in the last two years and are making no progress in reducing obesity rates.

The annual Healthy Ireland survey reveals that 39pc of people in Ireland are now overweight, up 2pc since 2015,

Nearly one in four of us over the age of 15 is obese.

The only consolation is that the obesity health timebomb has not got worse.

Some 70pc of men are overweight or obese compared with 53pc of women. Only 24pc of over-65s are a normal weight.

Drinkers

The survey from the Department of Health, which has been tracking our lifestyle habits annually for three years, also shows fewer people now describe their health as good or very good, down 1pc to 84pc.

In an ominous trend, 30pc have a long-standing illness or health condition, a rise of 2pc in two years.

Many people remain locked in poor lifestyle habits, with no fall in the 39pc of drinkers who binge. Those who are overweight and obese are more likely to binge drink than people of normal weight.

The majority of us are also not getting "our five a day".

Nearly three-quarters of people eat fewer than five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.

One in three also has at least one unhealthy treat a day, such as biscuits, pastries or fried food.

One in six has a sugar-sweetened drink daily.

The report warns that a high proportion of young people drink alcohol "at high risk levels" and this is a "significant concern".

Only 8pc have adopted a more active way of travel in the last two years and the reliance on the car as a mode of transport is undermining efforts to get us to take healthier travel options.

"Travelling by car is the default choice for many, with six out of every 10 people travelling to work, school or college using this as their main form of travel," the report said.

Those living in Dublin are more likely to have made a transport switch in the past two years than people in other parts of the country with 8pc cycling.

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