Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has commended the Dun Laoghaire Community for their engagement and passion in combating the issue of obesity. Deputy Mitchell O’Connor was speaking following a successful public meeting on obesity in Dun Laoghaire this morning (Monday).
“I was extremely pleased to host a very successful public meeting on “Obesity; how we can create a healthier Ireland” with guest speakers Prof. Donal O’Shea from Loughlinstown Obesity Clinic, Aoife Hearne from Operation Transformation and Barry Dempsey from the Irish Heart Foundation.
“The very high attendance of parents, schools, students, academics, healthcare professionals and local community workers is testament to the great concern the people of the Dun Laoghaire have when it comes to the issue of obesity.
“Obesity contributes to and escalates many chronic medical problems, including cancer. This is a problem that we must combat immediately. This was a feeling shared by all those in attendance who showed a real commitment to addressing obesity by learning more and playing their part.
“At the core of the obesity problem is our perception of normality. Our idea of what is normal has shifted and being overweight is now more common than unusual. We simply can’t let obesity become the new norm.
“As a nation, we are getting fatter to the point of a crisis. The number of premature deaths annually which are attributable to obesity currently stands at approximately 2,000. It is a shocking admission, but we stand to be the first generation who will bury our children and it is completely preventable.
“A healthy Ireland requires a whole-of-society approach to improving health and well-being. We need to protect, educate and offer healthy alternatives to our children. Obesity is a problem that will continue to grow, endangering every family, if it is ignored.
“I would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting. There were some very insightful contributions and it was clear that this is a problem that the people of Dun Laoghaire are taking very seriously.”