A Quarter Of Children In Ireland Are Overweight Or Obese


Parents are being encouraged to introduce small healthy changes to their children’s diets.

Research shows one-in-four children in Ireland are overweight or obese, while one-in-five don’t get enough vegetables or fruit every day.

Long working days, the daily commute and a lack of sleep are just some of the challenges facing parents every day.


A new five year campaign called ‘START’ is urging families to be healthier.The usual rules apply: more water, more vegetables and less sweets.But the different thing about this campaign is it recognises how hectic life is.Chief Specialist in Nutrition with Safefood Ireland Dr. Marian O’Reilly says it’s about introducing a small change every day:

“It’s not about changing everything in one go – choose one small thing and keep that up, and then maybe in a few weeks introduce another thing.”

Parents are also urged to be stricter with their children to take them away from their screens and make them play outdoors. Professor Donal O’Shea is the Clinical Lead for Obesity at the HSE;

“The language in this campaign is a little tougher.. it’s saying ‘Get tough with your kids. At the end of the day of you put a child under the age of 12 into the garden, after a minute or two of complaining, the child the will be running around and they will be doing things..”

Grandparents are also being urged to do their part and not to give into temptation. Junior Health Minister and grandmother, Catherine Byrne;

“There is no harm in having a treat there is no harm in having a treat..But children don’t do the shopping. They don’t fill the baskets in the supermarket – parents do and grandparents do”

For tips on how to help you encourage your children to be healthier visit – makeastart.ie