Press Release

Mr Pat “the Cope” Gallagher TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with responsibility for Health Promotion has today (28th June 2006) reinforced his Department’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles.

“Regular physical activity together with good nutrition are vitally important to everyone, especially our children during their developmental years”, said the Minister of State.

The Department has assigned significant resources towards implementation of the Report of the National Taskforce on Obesity. In line with the recommendations in the report, a National Nutritional Policy will be launched this autumn. This policy, while addressing the whole population, will have an additional focus on the needs of younger people. The Food Pyramid (available at www.healthpromotion.ie) provides a useful reminder for parents on planning healthy food choices and portion size. The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, available through the HSE, provides support to families with particular dietetic needs.

Key national policies recommend that children are physically active for 60 minutes each day to promote optimal health and prevent a range of diseases and illnesses. Initiatives which promote physical activity include the role played by the HSE Physical Activity Coordinators and the National Play Policy “Ready Steady Play”.

“There is an onus on all of us – healthcare providers, educators, sports organisations and others to encourage all of society to be physically active”, said Minister Gallagher.