WHO Report On Obesity

nooneeesc

As the Chamber is fully aware, I have been calling for legislation to tackle the Irish obesity time bomb for a number of years now.
Latest figures released by the World Health Organisation, show Ireland is on course to become the most obese country in Europe by 2030.
In fact, Professor Dónal O’Shea, one of the State’s foremost endocrinologists, has said that Ireland is a worse health crisis than HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and cholera in the 1800s.
The new figures predict 89 % of Irish men will be overweight or obese by 2030 – putting them at the top of an overweight table of 53 countries. In the same category, Irish women are predicted to reach 85 %.
As far as childhood obesity is concerned – Irish children, especially in the lower socio-economic groups, are in effect, being poisoned with high fat, high salt and high sugar foods.
As such, legislative action must be now taken as a matter of urgency to tackle this time bomb.
When the plastic bag tax was introduced, it immediately changed consumer behaviour. The use of plastic bags went down by approximately 90% and well over €200 million was generated – which was put into manufacturing bottle banks and other environmentally friendly measures.
By the same token, if a health related food and drink levy was introduced, then consumption would also be influenced. The tax would also generate much needed revenue for medical services and therapies for patients who are currently suffering from chronic obesity related diseases such as diabetes.

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