Obesity in Ireland

irish obesity

The percentage of overweight people in Ireland is rising to levels already experienced in the US, despite government task forces and enquiries to tackle the problem.

Obesity is measured as the percentage of the population who are overweight or obese. There are various ways to measure this, most often using the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation which compares height with body weight, and sometimes by comparing an individuals weight against the average weight of the population.

Obesity Rates in Ireland

Overall 66% of adult men in Ireland are overweight or obese, and 50.9% of Irish women, with a Body Mass Index of 25 or over. This represents a massive increase of 28% since 1980. In Ireland, the obesity problem is effecting the number of people who can be organ donors, and Ireland is on track to becoming the fattest country in Europe by 2030.

The annual cost of obesity in Ireland is estimated at €1.13 billion. Around €398 million is in direct healthcare costs. The remaining €728 million are indirect costs in reduced productivity, and absenteeism.

Figures from RTE.

Child Obesity Rates in Ireland

Child obesity is alarmingly high in Ireland, and is not showing any signs of decrease yet.

27% of Irish 9 year olds were overweight or obese in 2011.

The Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin has seen an increase of 400% in referrals to treat obese children under the age of five.

Obesity in children can lead to poorer educational results, and an increase in diabetes as adults.

Source: Independent.ie

Probable causes of obesity in Ireland

sugary drinks contribute to obesity in IrelandLike in many developed countries, sugar is believed to be a major contributing factor to high obesity levels in Ireland.

By reducing sugar intake in children, their weight goes down.

Sugar is as addictive as alcohol, and whilst parents would not allow their children to drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes, sugar can be just as destructive to a persons health in the long term.

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