New Study shows 20% of Irish 7& 8 year-olds are overweight or obese – Urgent Action Needed

A new report showing 1 in 5 of Irish seven & eight year olds are overweight or obese is a cue for urgent action.
The Growing Up in Ireland report is the latest in a series of studies by the ESRI and Trinity College following the development of 5,000 children since infancy. The study revealed that social demographics played a significant role in the levels of obesity found in Irish children.
Over a quarter of children from the lowest income families were deemed overweight or obese compared with almost one in six children from the highest income bracket.
Meanwhile, more than a third of the most socially disadvantaged children reported having a low quality of diet, which is over twice the rate for those from a professional/managerial background.
Although overall levels of obesity in children has stabilised depending on age- the level obesity of children in the lower social demographics is truly alarming.
As such, it is imperative we in Government place a laser focus on addressing the gaping discrepancy through measures such as tailored healthy eating awareness initiatives targeting lower income families etc.
Obesity is costing the exchequer approximately €1.4 Billion each year, both directly and indirectly. Taking urgent action now is crucial if we are to reduce the major challenges facing Ireland from overweight and obesity.

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