Press Release

ICA Supports Campaign to Tackle Obesity

A High Fruit/Vegetable Recipe, for a family of four – Honey Orange Grilled Chicken Stir Fry – was today (22nd February) announced as the winning recipe in the ICA’s Healthy Eating Recipe Competition, organised by the Health Promotion Unit of the Department of Health and Children. From hundreds of entries from around the country, the competition produced 20 winning recipes in total, with Nancy Sutton’s Oriental chicken dish claiming top prize.

Nancy from Delgany, Co. Wicklow, devised a recipe for four people that is easy to prepare, uses a combination of low fat food choices and reflects the Health Promotion Unit’s guidelines in relation to fruit and vegetable consumption. Take 5 Steps … to a Healthier You was the key nutritional message of the Health Promotion Unit’s 2005 campaign to tackle over weight and obesity in Ireland, which aims to increase our consumption of fruit and vegetables to five portions per day.

Nineteen other ICA federation finalists joined Nancy at the Burlington Hotel to hear the announcement of the overall first, second and third place winners, by Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children and ICA President, Anne Murray.

Following the presentation, ICA guests sat down to lunch to sample the winning dish of ‘Honey Orange Grilled Chicken Stir Fry’, which featured on the menu.

The annual Health Promotion Unit’s competition invited ICA members to develop a “High Fruit/Vegetable recipe for up to two adults and two children, on a budget of just €16.00. The dish had to be devised using low fat cooking methods and entrants were obliged to include at least one third fruit or vegetables. Convenience and speed of preparation were also noted when the judges made their final decision on the overall winner.

Minister O’Malley, said “At a time when around 50% of Irish people are overweight and one in eight is obese, initiatives such as this competition play a vital role in creating awareness for this growing problem. We are grateful for the ICA’s ongoing support of this initiative, which demonstrates that healthy meals can be appetising, tasty and convenient to prepare. It is vital that we harness support from such influential groups as the ICA in promoting the healthy eating message that five portions of fruit or vegetables per day offers health benefits and increased protection against heart disease and cancer.”

ICA President, Anne Murray, echoed the Minister’s sentiments and said; “for many years the ICA has supported the Health Promotion Unit’s Healthy Eating Recipe competition as we feel that, through our 16,000 members nationwide, we can help to disseminate messages and information that benefit everyone. Although a small component of the overall campaign, we firmly believe we can play an important role in promoting the Take Five Steps … to a Healthier You theme to children, parents and grandparents countrywide.

Eilis Bailey, from Bearna, Co. Galway, was awarded second place for her “Chicken Kebabs with Vegetables and Turmeric Rice”. Third prize went to Alice Reilly from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, for her “Baked Citrus Haddock” recipe.

The Health Promotion Unit is committed to reducing the number of people who are overweight or obese in Ireland and the issue of obesity will remain a key focus for the Government throughout 2006.