Over 70% of Ireland’s adults are overweight, according to the Association for the Study of Obesity Ireland (ASOI).Today, March 4th, is World Obesity Day. The goal of this year’s World Obesity Day is to eliminate obesity stigma and prejudice.
The World Health Organisation said the basic cause of obesity and overweight is people eating more calories than they burn. Of course, there are other health factors to consider.
ASOI patient representative Susie Birney said many people view obesity as a result of “a simple lack of willpower, laziness, or a refusal to “eat less and move more.”” However, she said the causes of obesity can be genetic, psychological, sociocultural, economic and environmental.
“It is time we break the cycle of shame and blame and reevaluate our approach for addressing this complex, chronic disease,” she said.
According to the WHO, over 650 million adults worldwide were obese in 2016, while over 340 million children and teenagers aged 5-19 were overweight or obese.
By 2025, Ireland will have the second-highest rate of adult obesity in the EU, according to a report by Lancet.
Chair of ASOI, Dr Jean O’Connell, called for collaboration to resolve this epidemic. “Together, we can address the far reaching personal, societal, and economic impacts of obesity.”
The European Association for the Study of Obesity recommends that to lose weight, people should eat less sugars and fats, eat more fruit and vegetables and that adults should exercise for 150 minutes a week.
If you’d like to live a healthier lifestyle, there are so many ways to get started. RTÉ’s Operation Transformation inspired many people nationwide to eat healthier and get active. 5,000 people from across the country joined together to run, jog or walk the 5k that took place in Phoenix Park, Dublin on February 22nd. Although the show is over, the resources and tasty recipes are available year round here.
If sport isn’t for you, check out the fitness classes in your local area. From Zumba to trampoline jumping to pilates, there’s something for everyone. Exercise is proven to decrease stress and improve your mood, so you’ll feel the mental benefits of getting out there too.