Obesity – in particular, childhood obesity – is an issue that will have serious long-term effects on the health and wellbeing of our children as they grow older.

Work has commenced on a new Obesity Policy and Action Plan and an obesity consultation day on a draft consultation paper took place on 27th April 2015.  The consultation process includes a separate half day consultation with children and young people and consultation on obesity treatment guidelines with health professionals and health providers.

The new Policy and Action Plan, which will address prevention, treatment and research will be finalised in 2015 and presented to Government for approval.

Our goal – as set out in Healthy Ireland – is to increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life. Our goal in relation to obesity is to increase the number of adults and children with a healthy weight.

A campaign titled “Let’s Take on Childhood Obesity, One Step at a Time”, developed in partnership between safefood, the HSE and the Department of Health, is continuing throughout 2015 with the purpose of communicating practical solutions for parents to adopt in order to tackle the everyday habits that are associated with excess weight in childhood. The latest phase of the campaign entitled “It’s bedtime” is ongoing.

The Minister for Health has made overweight and obesity (and in particular childhood overweight and obesity), a public health priority.  With this in mind, he established a Special Action Group on Obesity (SAGO) which is tasked with progressing the obesity agenda.

Click here to find about calorie counts on menus in restaurants and here to find out more about healthy eating.