'There's so much that needs to be done on poverty' - Dr Eva
Dr Eva Orsmond has revealed she was moved to tears after witnessing deprivation and poverty in Ireland while filming a new RTE documentary.
In Ireland's Health Divide, which will be broadcast as part of RTE's new autumn schedule, she examines how where you were born and raised impacts on your life expectancy.
During the course of filming she met mothers who were struggling to not only feed their children healthily, but to feed them at all.
"I haven't seen Ireland's deprivation and poverty," she said.
"I have only seen this part, the southside of Dublin, the more affluent and middle-class side.
"I come from Finland and it's not that everyone in Finland is rich, but we don't have poverty as such because we have a very good social security and a very good education [system].
"Education is really the base of everything we do in life because we can draw energy from that."
Dr Eva who, during her time as an Operation Transformation expert, was known for her no-nonsense attitude to healthy eating, met women in Limerick who were really struggling.
"I was seeing areas where mothers were buying bad quality food because that was all they felt they could afford," she said.
"You can say healthy eating is not that expensive, but if you have a lot going on in your life and everyday life is challenged with your housing maybe being a little bit substandard, or you might experience domestic violence or a chronic illness, really it's very difficult to draw the energy to prioritise healthy eating. You are literally just trying to keep that child alive."
She was also shocked by the statistics of life expectancy of children from different areas.
"The gap between areas is quite horrendous," she said.
"A child born in an affluent area will live six years longer than a child born in a deprived area. A child born in a deprived area is twice as likely to be obese and three times more likely to get cancer."