Obesity in Ireland has reached “epidemic” levels, a doctor specialising in weight loss has told Newstalk.
March 4th is World Obesity Day and Dr Eva Orsmond said that Irish people need to become more aware about cultivating healthy lifestyle habits:
“We know that this is an epidemic,” Dr Osmond told Newstalk Breakfast.
“Over 60% of Irish people are overweight or obese and over a quarter of children are already overweight and obese [and] I think it’s important to highlight the fact that we need to start being more aware of our weight and our lifestyle habits.
“Because really, prevention is better than cure.”
Listen and subscribe to Newstalk Breakfast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
One thing that Dr Osmond believes is particularly bad is fizzy drinks - which many people do not know are highly calorific.
“There’s a survey that found out that two out of three children are basically having sugary drinks every day,” she said.
“Liquid sugary drinks are very high in calories and they really contribute to excess weight gain.”
For many people, a takeaway at the end of the week is something they really look forward to. For Dr Osmond, there is no problem with treating yourself occasionally but it is important to make sure your overall diet is balanced and healthy:
“I think it’s really important that we say, it’s okay to have a takeaway once a week!” Dr Osmond continued.
“But it’s all about how many other calories, excess calories, unhealthy calories are in a diet throughout the day.”
However, she also believes that it is much better to cook a wide variety of healthy, tasty food in your own home:
“People often have this idea that healthy food is not tasty food, that only takeaways are healthy,” Dr Osmond added.
“I have to say, I struggle to find healthy food outside my own home because I cook so much and I like my own cooking. And I find it quite easy because I know so many recipes.
“So it’s this concept that healthy food is also tasty food and if we could get this message to the children from a young age.”
However, for those who are carrying a few extra pounds, Dr Osmond says it is absolutely vital for their health that they do try and lose it:
“Losing weight is never easy,” she said.
“It’s important that we do it if the excess weight is there because obesity really means that you are carrying so much excess weight that it’s affecting your health.
“And there’s a direct link to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or aches and pains that people take pain killers for.
“People are seriously affected by excess weight.”