5 times more girls drive than cycle to school

The country’s leading expert on obesity has revealed that five times more schoolgirls drive to school than ride a bicycle.

With a quarter of all three-year-olds classed as obese, consultant endocrinologist, Professor Donal O’Shea, who features in the RTÉ series The Obesity Clinic, has warned a generation of parents could end up burying their children in the future.

And he blames a drastic drop-off in day-to-day physical activity coupled with the rise in convenience food and soft drinks for the dramatic rise in the weight of the average Irish child in recent years.

Professor O’Shea, who runs the country’s only public weight management clinic at St Columcille’s Hospital in Dublin, said Irish parents are largely oblivious to the seriousness of the weight gain in their children.

He said: “If we don’t act then a lot of this generation of parents will be burying their kids. I don’t think the seriousness of it has really hit home.

“Parents are poor at recognising an overweight child. The mother is better than the father. What we’re seeing in terms of the patients coming to our clinic is that they are getting younger and bigger.

“The numbers dying will go up and the age at which they are dying will come down.”

* The Obesity Clinic will be shown on RTE One tonight at 9.35pm


More in this Section

Probe into claim sexual harassment within Prison Service was covered up

‘Selfish drivers oblivious to huge devastation they could cause’, says bereaved Cork woman

Young man with autism admits sex assault of five-year-old girl

Cartel ‘running out of people to do their work’


Breaking Stories

Sinn Féin votes in favour of going into Government as junior party

Gardaí make one arrest in €25k drug seizure in Meath

Latest: Galway Councillor calls for investigation after 20 people trapped on big wheel for three hours

Mary Lou McDonald says Sinn Féin are 'ready' to go into power with another party

Lifestyle

John Wilson touring with music made with Rory Gallagher in Taste

The F word: Why are some women reluctant to call themselves feminists?

Ask Audrey: 'Come here, do posh girls fake orgasms?'

Music Man: Why singer Phil Coulter is still touring in his 70s

More From The Irish Examiner